Ta-Nehisi Coates Returns To Nonfiction And Explores The Power Of Stories In Upcoming 'THe Message'

This cover image released by One World shows "The Message" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (One World via AP)
This cover image released by One World shows "The Message" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (One World via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — For his first all-new book of nonfiction in nearly a decade, Ta-Nehisi Coates traveled the world.

One World announced Thursday that Coates' “The Message” will be published Oct. 1. “The Message” is set everywhere from the American South to the Middle East and Palestine and focuses on a single question: In a time of growing strife and injustice, why do stories matter?

"In ‘The Message,’ Coates explores this question by reporting from three powerfully resonant sites — Senegal, South Carolina, and Palestine — that have been profoundly shaped and riven by contested accounts of meaning and reality," the One World announcement reads in part. “Weaving together on-the-ground reportage, personal narrative, and insightful dives into literature and history, he tries to clarify what’s real beneath layers of propaganda, wishful thinking, and enforced silence — and why we are so often misled, with sometimes catastrophic consequences.”

Additional details about “The Message” were not immediately available. In a statement released through One World, a Penguin Random House imprint, Coates said he was thrilled “to be back publishing nonfiction in this particular political moment.”

Coates' last new work of nonfiction, “Between the World and Me,” was a meditation on racism and police violence that won the National Book Award in 2015 and was likened by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison to the works of James Baldwin. His books also include the 2017 essay collection “We Were Eight Years in Power,” drawn in part from his Atlantic magazine reporting during the Obama administration, and the 2019 novel “The Water Dancer,” an Oprah Winfrey book selection.