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marcus scott williams on damn near might still be is what it is with Simeon Marsalis

April 19, 2022

marcus scott williams’s debut novel damn near might still be is what it is is a tour de force of genre-blending that seamlessly integrates autofiction, memoir, travelogue, road novel, and journal entry. As the unnamed narrator makes their way first around the U.S.—and later around the world—williams explores authenticity, family, memory, and friendship against an ever-shifting backdrop ranging from New York City to Vienna. damn near might still be is what it is is a poignant reflection of what it is like to be Black, to be American, and to fall in love in some of the most storied cities in the world.

williams (The Center’s Inventory Manager and Bookseller!) joined author and professor Simeon Marsalis (As Lie Is to Grin) for a tender and thoughtful discussion, a must for lovers of immersive fiction that expertly traverses the boundaries of genre.

In Conversation

  • image_50344193 - Claire Fennell

    marcus scott williams

    marcus scott williams

    marcus scott williams is a writer and artist whose works include Sparse Black Whimsy: A Memoir, say less, and damn might still be is what it is.

    Photo Credit: Sulyiman Stokes

  • IMG_0488 - Claire Fennell

    Simeon Marsalis

    Simeon Marsalis

    Simeon Marsalis is a writer from New Rochelle, NY, who earned an MFA in 2019 from Rutgers University-Newark. As Lie Is to Grin, his first novel was published by Catapult in 2017 and was on the shortlist for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. His short story, “The Exterminator,” appears in the Fall 2021 Founder’s Issue of Lampblack, a magazine and literary organization he helped to co-found. Marsalis is working on his second novel entitled, End Times, and is currently a part-time lecturer in the English Department at Rutgers University-Newark.