Clifford Thompson

Clifford Thompson is the 2013 winner of the Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and author of Love for Sale and Other Essays and the novel Signifying Nothing. Born in Washington, D.C., he studied creative writing at Oberlin College and lives in Brooklyn, New York. His memoir, Twin of Blackness, was published in 2015 by Autumn House Press. His most recent book is What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues (2019, Other Press).

 

Posts by Clifford Thompson

Long Red Monte Carlo

A lot of people love the feel and freedom of driving—certainly our culture celebrates those things—but those were outweighed for me by other factors, chief among them the astounding ease with which I can get lost.

Life With Rodents

I had been surprised days earlier when I found gray fur on one of the traps, from a now partially bald mouse who had a story to tell his many buddies, but here was something worse: not an uncaught rodent, but a half-caught rodent.

King Lear

Does a man ever get over his father? Born into a Jewish family in New Haven in the summer of 1922, the second child and only boy, Norman Lear developed toward H.K. a reverence that withstood a great deal before souring, which it never did completely. Like Archie, H.K. was a large personality whose faults were proportional to the rest of him.

Say It Ain’t So, Bill

To say that the good Cosby has done outweighs the bad is, at best, to oversimplify matters and, at worst, to make a morally dubious statement. (Try saying that about a philanthropist who raped your sister, daughter, or wife.) It is of limited use, too, to say that we must always separate the artist from the art if we are to enjoy art at all. That is because, in this case, the person we took to be Cosby is—was?—his art. Maybe, maybe, it is possible to hang onto that persona, a positive force in the world, even as we know that it is the creation of that other Cosby; but between the two of them, they have broken my heart.