Nabil Ayers: My Life in the Sunshine (Signed)
Viking, 2022, Hardcover, 320 pages, 22 × 14.5 cm
On September 7th, Join Nabil Ayers in conversation with journalist Nicolas-Tyrell Scott as they discuss Ayers’ celebrated memoir, in which the writer, musician and Beggars Group US President investigates the complicated relationship with his father, influential jazz musician Roy Ayers, and his personal discovery of music, race, family, and concepts of identity.
Signed copies will be fulfilled from 8th September
Nabil Ayers felt the shadow and legacy of his father's musical genius, and his race, everywhere. In 1971, a white, Jewish, former ballerina, chose to have a child with the famous Black jazz musician Roy Ayers, fully expecting and agreeing to his absenteeism. In this highly original memoir, their son, Nabil Ayers, recounts a life spent living with the aftermath of that decision, and his journey to build an identify of his own despite and in spite of his father's absence. Growing up, Nabil only meets his father a handful of times. But Roy's influence is strong, showing itself in Nabil's instinctual love of music, and later, in the music industry - Nabil's chosen career path. By turns hopeful - wanting to connect with the man who passed down his genetic predisposition for musical talent - and frustrated with Roy's continued emotional distance, Nabil struggles with how much DNA can define a family. Unable to fully connect with Roy, Nabil ultimately discovers the existence of several half-siblings as well as a paternal ancestor who was enslaved. Following these connections, Nabil meets and befriends the descendant of the plantation owner, which, strangely, paves the way for him to make meaningful connections with extended family he never knew existed. Despite his absentee father, Nabil, through sheer will and a drive to understand his roots, redefines what family truly is.
Nabil Ayers is a writer, musician and record industry executive. Ayers is the current U.S. President of Beggars Group (4AD, XL, Rough Trade, Matador, Young), assuming the role after his work for 4AD, where he served as the label’s U.S. General Manager for over a decade. He has written about music and race for publications including The New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, and The Root.