This Other Eden, A Novel

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2023-01-30 03:05Z by Steven

This Other Eden, A Novel

W. W. Norton & Company
2023-01-24
224 pages
6.3 x 9.4 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-324-03629-6

Paul Harding, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature
State University of New York at Stony Brook

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Tinkers, a novel inspired by the true story of Malaga Island, an isolated island off the coast of Maine that became one of the first racially integrated towns in the Northeast.

In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discover an island where they can make a life together. Over a century later, the Honeys’ descendants and a diverse group of neighbors are desperately poor, isolated, and often hungry, but nevertheless protected from the hostility awaiting them on the mainland.

During the tumultuous summer of 1912, Matthew Diamond, a retired, idealistic but prejudiced schoolteacher-turned-missionary, disrupts the community’s fragile balance through his efforts to educate its children. His presence attracts the attention of authorities on the mainland who, under the influence of the eugenics-thinking popular among progressives of the day, decide to forcibly evacuate the island, institutionalize its residents, and develop the island as a vacation destination. Beginning with a hurricane flood reminiscent of the story of Noah’s Ark, the novel ends with yet another Ark.

In prose of breathtaking beauty and power, Paul Harding brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters: Iris and Violet McDermott, sisters raising three orphaned Penobscot children; Theophilus and Candace Larks and their brood of vagabond children; the prophetic Zachary Hand to God Proverbs, a Civil War veteran who lives in a hollow tree; and more. A spellbinding story of resistance and survival, This Other Eden is an enduring testament to the struggle to preserve human dignity in the face of intolerance and injustice.

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Plum Bum: A Novel Without a Moral

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2023-01-25 01:48Z by Steven

Plum Bum: A Novel Without a Moral

Beacon Press
2022-03-08 (originally published in 1929)
328 pages
5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Paperback ISBN: 978-080700660-3

Author: Jessie Redmon Fauset
Foreword by: Morgan Jerkins
Afterword: Deborah McDowell

For readers of The Vanishing Half, a hidden gem from the Harlem Renaissance about a young Black woman’s journey toward self-acceptance while passing as white in 1920s New York City.

Originally published in 1929 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, Plum Bun is the story of Angela Murray, a young Black woman of mixed heritage who uses the advantages of her lighter skin to escaper her own life. Beginning with a childhood in her Black middle class Philadelphia neighborhood, Angela dreams of being a renowned painter. She believes she will only achieve this through whiteness and being a part of white society. Bestowed with the light skin of her mother, while her sister Virginia’s darker complexion resembles that of their father’s, Angela refuses to accept a life dictated by the limitations that come with her race and gender.

Leaving behind her family and identity, Angela escapes to a roaring New York City where she befriends the art elites and presents herself as a white woman. Thrust into a world of seduction, betrayal, love, lust, and heartbreak, Angela soon discovers that to find true fulfillment within herself, she must accept and embrace her own identity—both her race and gender. Written with meticulous care and appreciation for the complicated nature of her characters, while also highlighting the beauty of every day Black life, Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun raises important questions to inspire new readers.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Morgan Jerkins
  • Home
  • Market
  • Plum Bun
  • Home Again
  • Market Is Done
  • Afterword by Deborah McDowell
  • Notes
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
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Ruby Red Skies, A Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Media Archive, Novels on 2022-11-27 03:06Z by Steven

Ruby Red Skies, A Novel

Roseway Publishing (an imprint of Fernwood Publishing)
October 2022
272 pages
8.5 x 5.5 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781773635606

Taslim Burkowicz

Ruby used to be a fiery, sexy, musical genius. But when she got pregnant as a teenager in the 90s, her life took a turn into banality. Now a middle-aged Indo-Canadian woman, she feels unseen and unheard by her white husband and struggles to communicate with her mixed-race daughter. When she discovers her husband cheating, she embarks on a quest to unearth exciting secrets from her past. To find what she needs, she drives straight into B.C.’s raging wildfires, accompanied only by the fantastical stories her mother used to tell about their ancient Moghul ancestry — a dancer named Rubina who lived in the concubine quarters of the great Red Fort. This book is at once historical fiction and political romance, deftly navigating themes of mixed-race relationships, climate change, motherhood, body shame, death and the passage of time.

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The White Mosque: A Silk Road Memoir

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, Religion on 2022-11-27 03:05Z by Steven

The White Mosque: A Silk Road Memoir

Hurst Publishers
October 2022
304 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781787388079

Sofia Samatar, Assistant Professor of English
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

A rich history of wanderers, exiles and intruders. A haunting personal journey through Central Asia. An intimate reflection on mixed identity shaped by cultural crossings.

In the late 1800s, a group of German-speaking Mennonites fled Russia for Muslim Central Asia, to await Christ’s return.

Over a century later, Sofia Samatar traces their gruelling journey across desert and mountains, and its improbable fruit: a small Christian settlement inside the Khanate of Khiva. Named ‘The White Mosque’ after the Mennonites’ whitewashed church, the village—a community of peace, prophecy, music and martyrs—lasted fifty years.

Within this curious tale, Sofia discovers a tapestry of characters connected by the ancient Silk Road: a fifteenth-century astronomer-king; an intrepid Swiss woman traveller; the first Uzbek photographer; a free spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. Along the way, in a voice both warm and wise, she explores her own complex upbringing as an American Mennonite of colour, the daughter of a Swiss-American Christian and a Somali Muslim.

On this pilgrimage to a lost village and a near-forgotten history, Samatar traces the porous borders of identity and narrative. When you leave your tribe, what remains? How do we enter the stories of others? And how, out of life’s buried archives and startling connections, does a person construct a self?

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Amnesia of June Bugs, A Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2022-05-13 18:30Z by Steven

Amnesia of June Bugs

7.13 Books
2022-04-25
354 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 979-8985376203
5.5 x 0.89 x 8.5 inches

Jackson Bliss

Jackson Bliss’s brilliant and moving debut novel redefines what a novel can be. Hurricane Sandy has just smashed into the Eastern Seaboard, trapping four passengers on the C train: a Chinese American graffiti artist grieving his father’s death, a mixed-race graphic designer struggling to become a mom, a Moroccan French translator escaping his heartache in Paris, and an Indian American traveler leaving Chicago to regain control of her life. Amnesia of June Bugs is an ambitious, infatuated, and furious book about the time we lost and the people we could have loved.

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Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United Kingdom on 2022-04-14 22:10Z by Steven

Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

HarperVia (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2022-04-12
240 pages
5.5 x 0.85 x 8.25 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780063140882
E-book ISBN: 9780063140905
Digital Audio, MP3 ISBN: 9780063140912

Claire Kohda

A young, mixed-race vampire must find a way to balance her deep-seated desire to live amongst humans with her incessant hunger in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.

Lydia is hungry. She’s always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside – the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can’t eat any of these things. Her body doesn’t work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs’ blood in London – where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time – is much more difficult than she’d anticipated.

Then there are the humans – the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can’t bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for – perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality – but she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry – always hungry.

As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that she must reconcile the conflicts within her – between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans – if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.

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Stranger and Alone: The Story of a Man Who Betrayed His Own People

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2022-04-06 01:35Z by Steven

Stranger and Alone: The Story of a Man Who Betrayed His Own People

Harcourt, Brace and Company
1951
308 pages

J. Saunders Redding (1906–1988)

Stranger and Alone dramatizes the psychological and moral costs of denying one’s racial identity and allowing one’s “white face” to predominate. Striving for individual success through rejection of one’s people, the novel implies, amounts to a betrayal of oneself, as well as a futile striving against history, “the time on the clock of the world.

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Love Knows No Barriers

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Slavery, United States on 2022-03-08 02:49Z by Steven

Love Knows No Barriers

New American Library
1950 (originally published by Creative Age Press in 1947 as God is for White Folks)

Will Thomas [William Smith] (1900-1970)

 

Many Worlds Mingled at Riverbend Plantation

Riverbend Plantation, isolated and decaying, had seen many strange events, passionate conflict and tragic romance. In the shadows of its crumbling walls you will meet:

  • Beau Beauchamp — the cast-off son of the white plantation owner and his ravishing, dark Creole mistress.
  • Elisse Leseur — a beautiful blonde of mixed descent who shunned the offers of wealthy whites and poor Negroes.
  • Bartolomew — an understanding Northerner who put his theories into practice and fought off an enraged mob.
  • Gaynor Brackens — the hot-blooded son of the leading banker, who determined to have Elisse — at any price.
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What We Lose

Posted in Africa, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Novels, South Africa, United States on 2022-02-25 16:24Z by Steven

What We Lose

4th Estate
2017-07-11
224 pages
5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0735221710
Paperback ISBN: 978-0735221734

Zinzi Clemmons

A short, intense and profoundly moving debut novel about race, identity, sex and death – from one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35

Thandi is a black woman, but often mistaken for Hispanic or Asian.

She is American, but doesn’t feel as American as some of her friends.

She is South African, but doesn’t belong in South Africa either.

Her mother is dying.

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Mirror Girls

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2022-02-09 02:55Z by Steven

Mirror Girls

Little, Brown Young Readers
2022-02-08
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780759553859
eBook ISBN-13: 9780759553859
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781549165962

Kelly McWilliams

A thrilling gothic horror novel about biracial twin sisters separated at birth, perfect for fans of Lovecraft Country and The Vanishing Half

As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.

Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie’s beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.

The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.

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