Things I Have Withheld

Hardback edition released 06/05/2021

by Kei Miller


Things I Have Withheld Synopsis


In this astonishing collection of essays, the award-winning poet and novelist Kei Miller explores the silence in which so many important things are kept. He examines the experience of discrimination through this silence and what it means to breach it: to risk words, to risk truths. And he considers the histories our bodies inherit - the crimes that haunt them, and how meaning can shift as we move throughout the world, variously assuming privilege or victimhood.

Through letters to James Baldwin, encounters with Liam Neeson, Soca, Carnival, family secrets, love affairs, white women's tears, questions of aesthetics and more, Miller powerfully and imaginatively recounts everyday acts of racism and prejudice.

With both the epigrammatic concision and conversational cadence of his poetry and novels, Things I Have Withheld is a great artistic achievement: a work of beauty which challenges us to interrogate what seems unsayable and why - our actions, defence mechanisms, imaginations and interactions - and those of the world around us.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781838852795
Publication date: 6th May 2021
Author: Kei Miller
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 224 pages
Primary Genre History
Other Genres:
Win a pair of Outdoor Programme tickets to Chalke Valley History Festival the weekend of 25-26th June 2022

Win a pair of Outdoor Programme tickets to Chalke Valley History Festival the weekend of 25-26th June 2022

Closing date: 07/06/2022

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival makes a welcome return this June, with a rich and varied programme of fascinating talks and panel discussions given by leading thinkers and speakers, and the very best historians in the land.  We're teaming up with CVHF to offer the chance to winner a pair of Outdoor Programme tickets to Chalke Valley History Festival the weekend of 25-26th June 2022. This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 7th June 2022. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

Like For Like Featured Books

The Ruin of All Witches

Kei Miller Press Reviews

A wonderfully challenging book that I will dip in and out of for years to come. Through brilliant storytelling it explores issues of gender, queerness, race and class. Miller's insights and his grace are hard won. As always, this Jamaican rock-star poet's writing is lyrical, original and engaging. I left it challenged but tanked up with a new vocabulary and an understanding of the extent to which so much is inscribed on the body -- INGRID PERSAUD -

Observer -

Invaluable . . . an astounding collection, where Miller circles the question of how to put words to what is often silenced . . . In a lyrical, effortless style, Miller traverses questions of class and race, and how love, privilege and community exist within them -

Big Issue -

The powerful essays include [Miller's] own letters to the late American novelist James Baldwin and his reflections on the permanence of racism. He writes movingly -

Independent -

Miller promises a lyrical collection of essays . . . Drawing on his travels across the US, the UK, Jamaica and other places, Miller's essays say something about the ways in which meaning, as well as our own positionality, can shift as we travel through the world and encounter systemic violence . . . Both Miller and Baldwin are known to be devastatingly concise and honest in their observations concerning race and racism -

Forbes, Most Anticipated Book of 2021 -

Miller's storytelling is impeccable, and his verse is arresting and beautiful. Things I Have Withheld is a remarkable contribution to literature -- DE'SHAWN WINSLOW -

author of In West Mills -

Perfectly encapsulates what it means to live in today's world as the other . . . Miller is a gifted writer; his silences furthering his craft as much as his words . . . Miller's writing is courageous and expansive. It seeks to educate its readers about inherent racism and racial bias and does so by tackling nuances head on -

Wee Review -

Searing . . . entrancing . . . Miller brings into devastating clarity the dangers confronting Black people in visualising the final moments of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Sharp as blades, Miller's words cut to the core -

Publishers Weekly (starred review) -

A stirring and insightful collection of essays . . . Miller is able to bring us a persuasive, writerly account of what is going on in some of these places he inhabits -

Tears in the Fence -

Shamefully, the stream of consciousness of a Caribbean philosopher, as I humbly designate Miller to be, is rarely considered essential literature in Western academia. Miller is a Jamaican-born poet, essayist and novelist tantamount to Stuart Hall, Sylvia Wynter, Orlando Patterson and Claude McKay -

BOMB magazine -

Praise for Kei Miller: An expansive talent, of a writer stretching to catch up with his own curiosity and fertility -

New Yorker -

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781838852825
Publication date: 05/05/2022
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781838852795
Publication date: 06/05/2021
Format: Hardback

View All Editions

About Kei Miller

Kei Miller was born in Jamaica in 1978. He divides his time between Jamaica and the UK and is currently teaching Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. He has published several collections of poetry and a book of short stories published by Macmillan Caribbean, THE FEAR OF STONES, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer's prize for Best First Book.

More About Kei Miller

More Books By Kei Miller

Things I Have Withheld
Things I Have Withheld
Things I Have Withheld
View All Books By Kei Miller

Share this book