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How writing for Black audiences gave Black Buck author Mateo Askaripour the freedom to write what he wanted
Just a few years ago, author Mateo Askaripour was sitting among a pile of rejection letters for novels he had written. As he questioned his ability to write, it dawned on him that he was avoiding the themes that were closest to his personal life: race, sales and startups. Now, his debut novel, Black Buck, has landed on dozens of must-read lists, from Vanity Fair to the Washington Post. The story follows the life of a young Black man named Darren, who goes from being a Starbucks barista in midtown Manhattan to a cunning salesman at a new startup. Askaripour joined Tom Power to tell us how his own experiences helped shape the story and what inspired his change of heart when it came to writing about the topics closest to his life.