Baltimore Insider

Ta-Nehisi Coates set to publish new book in October

Ta-Nehisi Coates' third book, "We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy," will be released in October.

Baltimore-born author Ta-Nehisi Coates is about to release his third book, the provocatively titled "We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy."

The book of essays, many focusing on Barack Obama's presidency and the 2016 fall election that brought President Donald Trump to power, is being released on Oct. 3 by Penguin Random House, according to the publisher's website.


The centerpiece of the book is eight new essays — one for each year that Obama was president — that filter national events from Coates' perspective and include elements of his life story.

The publisher describes the essays as being written from "the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president."


In addition, "Eight Years in Power" is fleshed out with some of the essays published in The Atlantic (where the author is the national correspondent) that originally made Coates a household name, from "Fear of a Black President" to "The Case for Reparations" to "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration."

Coates was raised in Baltimore and spent much of his life here. In 2015, he won the National Book Award for "Between the World and Me," which was composed as a letter to his teenage son, and was selected as a MacArthur "genius award" fellow.

The book launch will be held in Brooklyn. Though several appearances have been scheduled in Washington, no Baltimore readings are currently planned.