ACHUKA Book of the Day Mon 21 Jan 2021
“Williams-Garcia’s meticulous research processes shout volumes about the importance of taking contemporary inspiration into the archives to unearth sorely needed truths as we continue to navigate questions of equity and justice for the descendants of enslaved people. A marathon masterpiece that shares a holistic portrait of U.S. history that must not be dismissed or forgotten.” KIRKUS
“In this sweeping, richly researched, and powerfully delivered tale of privilege and exploitation—often a difficult read—Williams-Garcia’s storytelling is magnificent; her voice honest and authentic.” Horn Book
“This provoking history unsparingly centers the brutalization of its Black characters, including manifold instances of beatings, sexual assault, and slurs. If the telling dramatizes harmful philosophies and queer pain, it also offers an unvarnished look at a slowly toppling power structure obsessed with artifice and tradition, hinting through a notably long-view lens that new generations may, slowly and not without suffering, move away from antiquated ideology.” Publishers Weekly
1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family’s objections, to sit for a portrait. While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved.
This astonishing novel from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia about the interwoven lives of those bound to a plantation in antebellum America is an epic masterwork—empathetic, brutal, and entirely human.
Here the author is talking about an earlier, middle-grade novel about a harmonica player, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground:
And some interesting reflections on the beginnings of her writing life/career:
Follow the author on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ritawilliamsgarcia/