Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.
In this special bonus episode we chat with rapper, actor, activist and author Common about his new memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word. As an award-winning hiphop artist, Common’s musical career has woven together his message-driven lyrics with a wide-ranging musical palette. His work onscreen has brought him into memorable roles in films including Selma, American Gangster, The Hate U Give and Jennifer Fox’s The Tale. Common’s lyrics – as well as his previous memoir, the bestseller One Day It’ll All Make Sense – have always taken on self-examination as a key subject matter, and in Let Love Have the Last Word he takes this theme even further, writing in a spirit of vulnerability and directness about the challenges of being the parent and partner he wants to be, his responsibilities to others around him, and what it means to be a working artist while also living a life guided by love. Common also opens up about a painful episode of childhood abuse – an episode he only recent came to confront in his own memory. He spoke to us this week via phone about his new book, the experience of writing — and, oh yes, his top five favorite albums of all time.
Common—the Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe–winning musician, actor, and activist—follows up his New York Times bestselling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with this inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words.
Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life.
Touching on God, self-love, partners, children, family, and community, Common explores the core tenets of love to help others understand what it means to receive and, most important, to give love. He moves from the personal—writing about his daughter, to whom he wants to be a better father—to the universal, where he observes that our society has become fractured under issues of race and politics. He knows there’s no quick remedy for all of the hurt in the world, but love—for yourself and for others—is where the healing begins.
Courageous, insightful, brave, and characteristically authentic, Let Love Have the Last Word shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer. It is a powerful call to action for a new generation of open hearts and minds, one that is sure to resonate for years to come.