The Book of Harlan opens with the courtship of Harlan's parents and his 1917 birth in Macon, Georgia. After his prominent minister grandfather dies, Harlan and his parents move to Harlem, where he eventually becomes a professional musician. When Harlan and his best friend, trumpeter Lizard Robbins, are invited to perform at a popular cabaret in the Parisian enclave of Montmartre - affectionately referred to as "the Harlem of Paris" by black American musicians - Harlan jumps at the opportunity, convincing Lizard to join him.
"An insightful account of an eventful period"
The story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the 18th century. Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they - and she - will come to both revere and fear. The Night Women, as they call themselves, have long been plotting a slave revolt, and as Lilith comes of age and reveals the extent of her power, they see her as the key to their plans.
"read now to understand the past"
At the age of 12, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti - to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people.
"If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the prime minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a prime minister would want an airport named after him - why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen..." So begins Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the 10-by-12-mile island in the British West Indies.
At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac - here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of Margo Jefferson's rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both.
Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom.
"Beautiful, But Disturbing."
Cane River is an isolated community that lies on a small river in central Louisiana. There in the early 19th century, slaves, free people of color, and Creole French planters lived and worked, loved and bore children. And there, 165 years later, Tademy discovers her amazing heritage. Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women.
"struggled to finish"
Rosa Parks is often described as a sweet elderly woman, whose tired feet caused her to defy the Jim Crow laws on Montgomery's city buses. Her supposedly solitary and spontaneous act, history tells us, sparked the 1955 bus boycott and gave birth to the civil rights movement. The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really started the 1955 Boycott is far different than anything previously written.
Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley's wildly successful Atlanta social set. His cronies have all traded in the mothers of their children they promised to love and cherish - till death did them part - for tanned-and-toned young Barbie brides. If losing the social life and close friends she adored wasn't painful enough, a series of setbacks shake Les's world and push her to the edge. She's had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks he's doing her a favor keeping her around. Now, she's going to take some time forherself - in the familiar comforts and stunning beauty of Charleston, her beloved hometown.
"Full of Sass and Southern Humor - Loved it!"
Tananarive Due, author of The Living Blood won the American Book Award and is praised as Stephen King's equal by Publishers Weekly. In The Good House, Due sets a story of ancient powers and modern retribution in a small Pacific Northwest town. When a young woman returns to her grandmother's empty mansion, she is pitted against demonic forces that have poisoned her family for generations.
First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkable exploration of the shifting racial and sexual boundaries in America. Larsen, a premier writer of the Harlem Renaissance, captures the rewards and dangers faced by two negro women who pass for white in a deeply segregated world.
"If not for the Ending"
Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships - between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers - as beloved New York Times best-selling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry, where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman's death.
Beneath the glitter of Mardi Gras lies the sleaze of Bourbon Street; under the celestial sounds of JazzFest, the nightmare screams of a city once at war within its neighborhoods, but after Hurricane Katrina, seemingly at war with nature and the rest of the country as well. New Orleans is a third world country in itself, a Latin, African, European (and often amoral) culture trapped in a Puritan nation.
"Diverse as the City"
In A Thousand Lives, the New York Times best-selling memoirist Julia Scheeres traces the fates of five individuals who followed Jim Jones to South America as they struggled to first build their paradise, and then survive it. Each went for different reasons - some were drawn to Jones for his progressive attitudes towards racial equality, others were dazzled by his claims to be a faith healer. But once in Guyana, Jones' drug addiction, mental decay, and sexual depredations quickly eroded the idealistic community.
"Experiencing a New Emotion at the End of a Book"
Armani Curtis can think about only one thing: her tenth birthday. All her friends are coming to her party, her mama is making a big cake, and she has a good feeling about a certain wrapped box. Turning ten is a big deal to Armani. It means she's older, wiser, more responsible. But when Hurricane Katrina hits the Lower Nines of New Orleans, Armani realizes that being ten means being brave, watching loved ones die, and mustering all her strength to help her family weather the storm.
"Three Cheers for Armani!"
Award-winning, best-selling author Edwidge Danticat taps her exceptional storytelling gifts for this memoir of the two men who raised her. When the author was only four years old, her parents emigrated from Haiti to New York in search of a better life, leaving their daughter in the care of her uncle Joseph. A peaceful pastor in Port-au-Prince, Joseph raised Edwidge with the love and devotion of a father, despite facing many hardships in politically turbulent Haiti.
"A Superb Reflection"
Meg Corey has come to the quaint New England town of Granford, Massachusetts, to sell her mother's old colonial home and apple orchard. Instead, she becomes embroiled in development plans that include her land - and her former flame from Boston. When he's found dead in the new septic tank on her property, the police immediately suspect Meg, whose only ally in town is the plumber Seth Chapin. Together, they'll have to peel back the layers of secrecy that surround the deal in order to find the real murderer.
"Historic Homes Can be Murder"
Audre Lorde pioneered "biomythography" in Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, originally published in 1982. In this extraordinary tale, Lorde weaves a narrative tapestry out of the threads of her own life - from her family's immigration to New York through her own coming of age - and the lives of the women who shaped her.
"My first Audre Lorde"
Spring has come to Meg Corey's apple orchard—and it's quickly becoming a killer season. Just as she's getting the hang of managing the two-hundred-year-old orchard she's inherited, the dead body of a local organic farming activist is found in her springhouse. And the only thing that's sprung is a murder accusation - against her...
"Keeps you guessing right to the end."
Felicia Lyons, a stressed-out stay-at-home mom, struggles to sprint ahead of the demands of motherhood while her husband spends long days at the office. Felicia taps, utters mantras, and breathes her way through most situations, but on some days, like when the children won't stop screaming her name or arguing over toy trucks and pretzel sticks, she wonders what it would be like to get in her car and drive away.
"No ending to any of the situations that opened."