Photo courtesy Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Readers of all ages, get ready to catch a rising star. David Barclay Moore’s electric debut, The Stars Beneath Our Feet, is a middle-grade must-read as vibrant and variant as the thrumming thoroughfare where it unfolds: Harlem’s 125th Street.
“If Harlem was a human body, then 125th would be its pumping heart, throbbing all the time,” writes Moore, who grew up in suburban Missouri and moved to Harlem in adulthood. There, he taught English and language arts, worked as ...
Photo courtesy of Latifah Abdur
From the calypsonians of Carnival to Nobel Prize-winning native son V.S. Naipaul, the people of Trinidad and Tobago don’t want for representation in story and song, says YA author Tracey Baptiste.
Yet she never heard the tale of a black mermaid.
“In mythology,” says Baptiste, author of the middle-grade fantasy Rise of the Jumbies, “anything that is brown or dark has always been the bad guy or ugly. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, where most of the ...
Photo courtesy Jamie Schoenberger
The unsung nuns of early-20th-century Brooklyn—the Little Sisters of the Sick, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and company—are the worthy subjects of Alice McDermott’s eighth novel, The Ninth Hour.
“There’s something beautiful and humble about the language that those orders chose, juxtaposed with their ambition: ‘We’re not going to sit here and knit socks, we’re going to go out into the world and alleviate suffering. We’re going to bring justice where there is none,’ ” says McDermott ...
Quips on our radar
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton photographed by Ben Krantz
“You won’t find many other cities where black people were doing so well in the ’30s and ’40s. I wanted to show the decline in successful black America that was disproportional—to show that, in some ways, we’re not doing better than in the ’40s, even though Jim Crow has been abolished, and you’d assume there’d be marked progress. In some areas, we’ve regressed.” —Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author of A Kind of Freedom and 2017 National Book Award finalist, on ...
Photo courtesy of Sonya Sones
When Amnesty International solicited short stories for an anthology on government and identity, M.T. Anderson’s submission stuck out like a sore thumb.
“They were thinking more about identity in terms of surveillance,” says Anderson, who’d recently returned from Russia while researching Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. “I was thinking about the intersection of identity, colonization, and art.”
Anderson is the author of more than a dozen wide-ranging titles ...
Photo courtesy Rachel McConoughey
Holly Goddard Jones had written 100 pages of a horror story about killer ticks when she found out she was pregnant. Through her son’s first years and a second pregnancy, she wrote and rewrote The Salt Line, finishing final edits just one month before her daughter was born.
“Once I was dealing with motherhood and all the anxiety around it,” says Jones, who lives with her family in Greensboro, North Carolina, and teaches creative writing at UNC-Greensboro, “I found ...
Quips on our radar
Nicole Georges photographed by Amos Mac
“For those of you who can do math...the dog may not be alive at the end of the book. Any dog memoir, that’s a pro tip for you.”
—Author/illustrator Nicole J. Georges, at a launch event for her graphic memoir, Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home,at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon
“On busy working travel days or book-tour events, I gravitate toward the multitasking ease of liquid nutrition. I really like Vanilla ...
Photo courtesy Kristin Hoebermann
In anticipation of the 19th Amendment’s centennial celebration, Brooke Kroeger wanted to write a book about women’s suffrage. But the typical topics in the fight for voting rights seemed wrong.
“I always look for something that nobody’s done,” says Kroeger, author of several nonfiction books, including Undercover Reporting: The Truth about Deception and Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist. “I’m not great enough to redo something. I’d rather stake the territory. My strength is digging in beyond where a lot ...