New Books, Galleys, and Kitten

Dark blue book with quilt motif incorporating family photos, a light gray title and author's name, and a gold subtitle, on a quilt made by my granny with multicolored flowers partly composed of men's pajama pieces she bought at the Goodwill

Supply chain issues are hitting books hard, and if there are new ones you’d like to order for yourself or as gifts for the holidays, it sounds like it would be a good idea to place the orders now. Here are a few of the new books I love (and have mentioned in recent newsletters), if you’re not sure where to start.

I apologize for lacking the wherewithal right now to explain my enthusiasm and persuade you why you should read these books. I just finished reviewing my first-pass pages and shipping them off about a half-hour ago, and my brain is ready for dinner, a beer, and a long evening dog walk. But if you’re looking for good things to read, click through, take a look, and if a couple sound interesting to you, trust.

In other news, I received a handful of Ancestor Trouble galleys in the mail on Friday. I knew they were coming but I was still somehow so stunned, holding one in my hands, I wasn’t sure what to do. Max suggested that I take a photo with one of my granny’s quilts that the designer, Rachel Ake, was thinking about as she designed the cover. So I did.

Also, a smol black kitten showed up at our house! I believe the land and the trees and my ancestors and the storm sent her, and I understand if you need to pretend that you didn’t read this sentence. We sternly agreed that we could not keep her, and our resolve lasted about a day. Now her name is Ida Mary and we are slowly integrating her with the other animals. The elder cats are hurt and indignant, but I’m hopeful they will succumb to the kitten’s charm before too long, or at least seethe with less hissing and growling and more confidence in their place around here.

Love Letters from a 1943 Affair

Some letters we found in my granny’s papers after she died record the fallout from my grandfather Robert’s affair. Ultimately, Robert was said to have married thirteen times. Granny’s marriage to him, his fourth of those I’ve found, lasted about four and a half years. Knowing her later intolerance for foolishness, I’m surprised she put up with him for that . . .

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New Site and First-Pass Pages

This website has undergone a complete redesign for the first time since it launched in 2002, almost two decades ago. Eep! I adore this iteration so much that I’m hoping to blog more often, if only to spend more time looking at it. All thanks to Lorissa Shepstone and Gordon Clemmons, the brilliant Being Wicked team.  Late last week I . . .

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Early Praise for Ancestor Trouble

In the order received, here are some positive words about my upcoming book, Ancestor Trouble, from writers I admire who took time from their own important work to craft this praise: Abbott Kahler, Laila Lalami, Maaza Mengiste, Sarah Smarsh, and Dionne Ford. I’m grateful beyond measure to each of them, knowing, as Alexander Chee has said, that “writers are often terrifying to normal people” because there’s “almost . . .

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