Honorée Fannone Jeffers | The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (online)
Rescheduled from Aug. 3
"This sweeping, brilliant and beautiful narrative is at once a love song to Black girlhood, family, history, joy, pain... and so much more. In Jeffers' deft hands, the story of race and love in America becomes the great American novel." —Jacqueline Woodson
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. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans--the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers--Ailey carries Du Bois's Problem on her shoulders. To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks 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 Ailey 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.
Honorée Fannone Jeffers is a fiction writer, poet, and essayist. She is the author of five poetry collections, including The Age of Phillis, which was longlisted for a National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. She was a contributor to The Fire This Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward, and has been published in the Kenyon Review, the Iowa Review, and other literary publications. Jeffers was elected into the American Antiquarian Society, whose members include fourteen US presidents, and is critic at large for the Kenyon Review. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Oklahoma.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
AN OPRAH BOOK CLUB SELECTION
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
An Instant Washington Post, USA Today, and Indie Bestseller