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A TOP TEN NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
AN OPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA’S FAVOURITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
‘Astonishing… A great work infused with love and honesty’ Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
‘Deeply moving… it is magnificent’ Sarah Winman, author of Still Life
‘A remarkable work’ Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish)
‘Epic… It just consumed me' Oprah Winfrey, Oprah Book Club
‘The kind of book that comes around only once a decade' Washington Post
A breath-taking debut novel that chronicles the journey of generations of one American family, from the centuries of the colonial slave trade to our own tumultuous era
The great scholar, W.E.B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called ‘Double Consciousness,’ a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois's words all too well.
From an early age, Ailey fights a battle to feel like she belongs, made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women – her mother, her sister and a maternal line reaching back two centuries – that urge her to succeed in their stead.
Ailey decides to embark on a journey through her family's past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors – Indigenous, Black, and white – in the deep South. In doing so she must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story – and the song – of America itself.
Sweeping, compulsive and deeply moving, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is set to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • SHORTLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN LITERARY PRIZE
New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year • Time 10 Best Books of the Year • Washington Post 10 Best Books of the Year • People 10 Best Books of the Year • Booklist 10 Best First Novels of the Year
Winner of the Harper Lee Award (2018)
In her three previous, award-winning collections of blues poetry, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers has explored themes of African American history, Southern culture, and intergenerational trauma. Now, in her fourth and most accomplished collection, Jeffers turns to the task of seeking and reconciling the blues and its three movements—identification, exploration, and resolution—with wisdom. Poems in The Glory Gets ask, "What happens on the road to wisdom? What now in this bewildering place?" Using the metaphor of "gets"—the concessional returns of living—Jeffers travels this fraught yet exhilarating journey, employing unexpected improvisations while navigating womanhood. The spirit and spirituality of her muse, the late poet Lucille Clifton, guide the poet through the treacherous territories other women have encountered and survived yet kept secret from their daughters. An online reader's companion will be available.