Ominous and timely, No One Is Coming to Save Us explores the sense of displacement and dispossession that burrows within communities—and individuals—when work vanishes. The novel follows residents of Pinewood, a declining North Carolina factory town, as they ponder the twin perils of staying stuck in the stubborn red clay beneath them or moving earth to cut their own new roads. Author Stephanie Powell Watts’ story could take place in countless small towns around the country—she points out . . .
It’s tempting to think of Angie Thomas’ YA novel The Hate U Give as being ripped straight from the latest headlines about an unarmed black person shot by the police. But that would miss the point that for many people, Thomas included, the news is not only news: it is lived experience—raw and achingly intimate. And the lives stolen are individual, particular to specific families, neighborhoods, and communities, not generic fodder for hashtags and sound bites. Thomas says she sometimes has to . . .
Necessary and audacious, Mychal Denzel Smith’s assured debut, Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, fuses memoir and cultural criticism to ponder an often-neglected question: How did you learn to be a black man? The way he scrutinizes the origin of his beliefs about black identity and masculinity is revelatory--and instructive. He mines his personal history as an Obama-era black millennial in the service of a larger vision: social transformation through personal awakening. As he . . .
Necessary and audacious, Mychal Denzel Smith’s assured debut, Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, fuses memoir and cultural criticism to ponder an often-neglected question: How did you learn to be a black man? His answers are compelling. Even more, the way he scrutinizes the origin of his beliefs about black identity and masculinity is revelatory--and instructive. He mines his personal history as an Obama-era black millennial in the service of a larger vision: social transformation . . .
I interviewed bestselling author Zadie Smith live before a sold out crowd at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin on January 12th at 7 p.m. It was an honor to chat with Smith about her writing process and latest product--Swing Time. . . .
In The Firebrand and the First Lady, scholar Patricia Bell-Scott illuminates the unlikely friendship between two historic American women. Radical civil and women’s rights activist Pauli Murray and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt corresponded for years and swayed one another’s social justice aims and strategies. Their views never converged, but Bell-Scott makes a compelling case that they grew with and toward each other. “I started out being interested primarily in doing a biography, but then the . . .
26-year-old Brit Bennett’s sparkling debut novel, The Mothers, came of age over eight years and several drafts. She began penning the tale of youthful indiscretions and betrayals while just a teen. Then she carried it with her through college at Stanford and to MFA and postgraduate fellowship programs at the University of Michigan, where she torched and remade the story repeatedly. The pull of the characters and drama at Upper Room Chapel, a black church in a California beach town, kept her . . .
Hi, it's Maya, and I'm back with another 5-Star Read. I'm so excited to share Patricia Bell-Scott's, The Firebrand and the First Lady," with you. This book is wonderful for so many reasons. In particular, I really loved that it's a portrait of a friendship. The two people in the friendship are these extraordinarily influential historical figures. On one hand we have Eleanor Roosevelt. Then, on the other hand we have Pauli Murray. . . .
Grace Bonney's In the Company of Women offers inspiration and advice from 100 women who are makers, artists, and entrepreneurs. Rather than telling long, drawn out life stories of the women, it really cuts to the heart of their stories by asking some specific questions about what inspires them, what obstacles they've overcome. The candid responses she received are really inspiring to readers, and also the fact that there are so many different women offering these insights into pivotal . . .
Hello, it's Maya, and I'm back with another five-star read. The year's half over, but I still would like to spend today talking about Shonda Rhimes's "The Year of Yes." This is a fantastic book that's not really just about saying yes to everything that comes your way. It's really a book about pushing through discomfort to do some of the things that are really worthwhile for your personal and professional development. The kinds of yeses Shonda is giving are unlike anything most of us are . . .