My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2022-06-19 22:34Z by Steven

My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family

Viking (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2022-06-07
320 Pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780593295960

Nabil Ayers

A memoir about one man’s journey to connect with his musician father, ultimately redefining what family really means

Throughout his adult life, whether he was opening a Seattle record store in the ’90s or touring the world as the only non-white band member in alternative rock bands, Nabil Ayers felt the shadow and legacy of his father’s musical genius, and his race, everywhere.

In 1971, a white, Jewish, former ballerina, chose to have a child with the famous Black jazz musician Roy Ayers, fully expecting and agreeing that he would not be involved in the child’s life. In this highly original memoir, their son, Nabil Ayers, recounts a life spent living with the aftermath of that decision, and his journey to build an identity of his own despite and in spite of his father’s absence.

Growing up, Nabil only meets his father a handful of times. But Roy’s influence is strong, showing itself in Nabil’s instinctual love of music, and later, in the music industry—Nabil’s chosen career path. By turns hopeful–wanting to connect with the man who passed down his genetic predisposition for musical talent—and frustrated with Roy’s continued emotional distance, Nabil struggles with how much DNA can define a family… and a person.

Unable to fully connect with Roy, Nabil ultimately discovers the existence of several half-siblings as well as a paternal ancestor who was enslaved. Following these connections, Nabil meets and befriends the descendant of the plantation owner, which, strangely, paves the way for him to make meaningful connections with extended family he never knew existed.

Despite his father’s absence, Nabil, through sheer will and a drive to understand his roots, redefines what family truly is.

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The Portable Anna Julia Cooper

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2022-05-16 22:14Z by Steven

The Portable Anna Julia Cooper

Penguin Classics (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2022-08-09
592 pages
5-1/16 x 7-3/4
Paperback ISBN: 9780143135067
Ebook ISBN: 9780525506713
Audiobook ISBN: 9780593457993

Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964)

Edited by:

Shirley Moody-Turner, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

A collection of essential writings from the iconic foremother of Black women’s intellectual history, feminism, and activism, who helped pave the way for modern social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name

The Portable Anna Julia Cooper brings together, for the first time, Anna Julia Cooper’s major collection of essays, A Voice from the South, along with several previously unpublished poems, plays, journalism and selected correspondences, including over thirty previously unpublished letters between Anna Julia Cooper and W. E. B. Du Bois. The Portable Anna Julia Cooper will introduce a new generation of readers to an educator, public intellectual, and community activist whose prescient insights and eloquent prose underlie some of the most important developments in modern American intellectual thought and African American social and political activism.

Recognized as the iconic foremother of Black women’s intellectual history and activism, Cooper (1858-1964) penned one of the most forceful and enduring statements of Black feminist thought to come of out of the nineteenth century. Attention to her work has grown exponentially over the years–her words have been memorialized in the US passport and, in 2009, she was commemorated with a US postal stamp. Cooper’s writings on the centrality of Black girls and women to our larger national discourse has proved especially prescient in this moment of Black Lives Matter, Say Her Name, and the recent protests that have shaken the nation.

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Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Monographs on 2022-05-12 17:59Z by Steven

Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? A story of overcoming the odds

Sandycove (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2022-05-12
240 pages
234mm x 18mm x 153mm
313g
Paperback ISBN: 9781844885930
eBook ISBN: 9781844885947

Marguerite Penrose

Marguerite Penrose’s is an extraordinary story of making a great life from complicated beginnings. Marguerite was born in a Dublin mother-and-baby home in 1974, the daughter of an Irish mother and a Zambian father. Severe scoliosis indicated a future of difficult medical procedures. She was a little girl who needed a break. And she got it at three when she was fostered – and later adopted – by a young couple, Mick and Noeline, and acquired a mam, dad, sister, Ciara, and loving extended family.

Growing up, Marguerite’s appearance was occasionally remarked on by strangers, but it wasn’t until her teens that she understood that her skin colour was a provocation for some. The progressive city that she knew was revealed to have an unpleasant undercurrent. So, she became an expert in shaping her life around anything that marked her out as ‘different’.

Marguerite’s story is one of facing some big questions – Who am I? How do I live in world made for people with bodies different to mine? Why does anyone care about my skin colour? – with intelligence, humour, courage and common-sense. She writes about coming to terms with the circumstances of her birth and, like so many in her position, looking for answers. About navigating the world as an active woman with a disability. About what it means to be both Irish and Black, particularly at a moment when the conversation is becoming mainstream in Ireland and she is thinking about it in new ways herself. Mostly, she writes about embracing life in a spirit of openness and positivity.

Yeah, But Where Are You Really From? is a captivating, wise and inspiring memoir by a truly remarkable woman.

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Passing

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-11-11 21:43Z by Steven

Passing

Signet Classics (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2021-07-06 (Originally published in 1929)
176 Pages
4-3/16 x 6-3/4
Paperback ISBN: 9780593437841
Ebook ISBN: 9780593439074

Nella Larsen (1891–1964)

Introduction by Brit Bennett

Nella Larsen’s fascinating exploration of race and identity—the inspiration for the Netflix film directed by Rebecca Hall, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga.

This Signet Classics edition of Passing includes an Introduction by Brit Bennett, the bestselling author of The Vanishing Half.

Irene Redfield is a Black woman living an affluent, comfortable life with her husband and children in the thriving neighborhood of Harlem in the 1920s. When she reconnects with her childhood friend Clare Kendry, who is similarly light-skinned, Irene discovers that Clare has been passing for a white woman after severing ties to her past—even hiding the truth from her racist husband.

Clare finds herself drawn to Irene’s sense of ease and security with her Black identity and longs for the community (and, increasingly, the woman) she lost. Irene is both riveted and repulsed by Clare and her dangerous secret, as Clare begins to insert herself—and her deception—into every part of Irene’s stable existence. First published in 1929, Larsen’s brilliant examination of the various ways in which we all seek to “pass,” is as timely as ever.

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Ceremony

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Novels, United States on 2021-06-10 02:09Z by Steven

Ceremony

Penguin Random House
2006-12-26 (originally published in 1977)
272 Pages
5-5/8 x 8-7/16
Paperback ISBN: 9780143104919
Ebook ISBN: 9781440621826

Leslie Marmon Silko
Introduction by Larry McMurtry

The great Native American Novel of a battered veteran returning home to heal his mind and spirit

More than thirty-five years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power. The Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition contains a new preface by the author and an introduction by Larry McMurtry.

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Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2021-05-15 22:40Z by Steven

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

Knopf (A imprint of Penguin Random House)
2021-04-20
256 Pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780525657743
Ebook ISBN: 9780525657750
Audiobook ISBN: 9780593153895

Michelle Zauner

From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.

As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band–and meeting the man who would become her husband–her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.

Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner’s voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.

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When You Trap a Tiger

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2021-02-14 22:35Z by Steven

When You Trap a Tiger

Penguin Random House
2021-01-28
304 Pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9781524715700
Ebook ISBN: 9781524715724
Audiobook ISBN: 9780593155455

Tae Keller

  • Winner of the Newbery Medal
  • Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature

Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.

Some stories refuse to stay bottled up…

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal–return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger.

Tae Keller, the award-winning author of The Science of Breakable Things, shares a sparkling tale about the power of stories and the magic of family. Think Walk Two Moons meets Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

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A Promised Land

Posted in Autobiography, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-11-18 02:56Z by Steven

A Promised Land

Crown (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2020-11-17
768 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9781524763169
Ebook ISBN: 9781524763183
Audio Book ISBN: ISBN 9780525633716

Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

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The Vanishing Half, A Novel

Posted in Books, Louisiana, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2020-06-14 00:55Z by Steven

The Vanishing Half, A Novel

Riverhead Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2020-06-02
352 Pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 9780525536291
Paperback ISBN: 9780593286104
Ebook ISBN: 9780525536970

Brit Bennett

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

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Such a Fun Age, a Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2020-01-27 02:14Z by Steven

Such a Fun Age, a Novel

G.P. Putnam’s Sons (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2019-12-31
320 Pages
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 9780593152379
Hardcover ISBN: 9780525541905
Ebook ISBN: 9780525541929

Kiley Reid

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.

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