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On Connection


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Staggering talent Kae Tempest's first work of non-fiction: a meditation on the power of creative connection

About the Author

Kae Tempest is an award-winning, Sunday Times bestselling author, poet and recording artist. Tempest won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award, was nominated for a Costa Book Award and a BRIT Award, has been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize twice and was nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards. They were also named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society, a decennial accolade. They released their fourth studio album, The Book of Traps and Lessons, in 2019, produced by Rick Rubin. Tempest grew up in South-East London, where they still live today. @kaetempest


"[In] This slim, eloquent work composed during the 2020 pandemic lockdown.... their prose remains elegant and well-turned. This thoughtful meditation will resonate with anyone looking for new ways to engage with their creativity." -- Publishers Weekly

"With its emphasis on empathy and the importance of being present, this slender book, which will appeal mostly to readers with an interest in mindfulness, is a welcome tonic to the fractured dissonance of modern life. A lyrical, tender linguistic balm." -- Kirkus "Musings on creativity and connection threaded with autobiographical edge and Jung and William Blake and others. An authentically soothing, powerful, thought provoker." -- Matt Haig, Author of The Midnight Library "I identify with [On Connection] so deeply . . . I love it." -- Flea
"On Connection is soul work, deeply felt and beautifully wrought. The truth-speaker Kae Tempest takes to non-fiction with grace, musicality and innate essayistic skill. The book glows with their trademark honesty and questing integrity. On Connection is medicine for these wounded times." -- Max Porter, Author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers

"The powerful On Connection came to me when I needed it most, and reminded me that the links we have to places, people, words, ourselves, are what keep us alive." -- Candice Carty-Williams, Author of Queenie "A precious small book with a huge punch right at the heart of the problems of today." -- Cosey Fanni Tutti

"Tempest . . . doesn't just leap off the page, but leaps into your throat and demands to be shouted all the way out." -- Marlon James "Powerful and merciful." -- Ali Smith "Tempest has an ability to write about big, metaphysical subjects in the most vernacular language." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times on HOLD YOUR OWN and BRAND NEW ANCIENTS "One of the brightest British talents around. Her spoken-word performances have the metre and craft of traditional poetry, the kinetic agitation of hip-hop and the intimacy of a whispered heart-to-heart . . . drawing on ancient mythology and sermonic cadence to tell stories of the everyday." -- Guardian "[The Bricks that Built the Houses] marks the arrival of a significant new voice . . . deeply affecting: cinematic in scope; touching in its emphatic humanity . . . Tempest's voice--by turns raging and tender--never falters. By the time the novel reaches its cleareyed climax, cleverly undercutting its own promised happy ending, the reader is left with the impression of a work that hums with human life." --The New York Times Book Review, Editors Choice "Tempest has a knack for the devastating throwaway line--a skill-honed, no doubt, from years of rapping and spoken-word performances. Her work is rich with underlinable lines . . . Captivating." --The New Yorker on THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES "Blake, Shakespeare, Eliot, the Wu-Tang Clan: when an artist's outlook on boundaries is so dizzyingly open, you long to know what happens next." --Guardian on THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES "A novel that perfectly captures the modern trials and tribulations of youth and urban life in London." --BuzzFeed on THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES "[Tempest is] a Zadie Smith if Smith were in her 20s again . . . An artistic prodigy . . . [Her] captivating The Bricks That Built the Houses is rich in detail, clever in plot and filled with characters who live on the edge but never quite give up." --Shelf Awareness on THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES "Thrillingly good . . . Ms. Tempest stitches together words with such animate grace that language acquires an almost tactile quality, and the drama she unfolds . . . soars to operatic dimensions. . . . [An] hypnotically persuasive vision." --Charles Isherwood, New York Times on BRAND NEW ANCIENTS "This feels a lot like Patti Smith here, in massive wordplay. The sorrows, loss, and rage are the same; and you have to admire the inner beauty coming to surface in serious ways; and more than that, applaud a young artist on a marvelous occasion for driving a dream to the fullest extent just for the flight of it." --Washington Review of Books on LET THEM EAT CHAOS

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