LIARS DICTIONARY, by Williams NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, December 21, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com

The Liar's Dictionary: A Novel By Eley Williams Cover Image

The Liar's Dictionary: A Novel (Paperback)

$16.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
8 on hand, as of Sep 29 1:18am
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
1 on hand, as of Sep 29 1:33am
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of Sep 29 1:33am

January 2021 Indie Next List


The Liar’s Dictionary is an enormously charming novel about putting the world into words. Its two logophilic heroes, separated by a century, are unforgettable characters; I loved spending time with these word-curious creations. You’ll be utterly transported by this playful and seriously funny book.”
— John Francisconi, McNally Jackson City Point, Brooklyn, NY

Winter 2022 Reading Group Indie Next List


“Williams has crafted a text that does more than spin a great yarn. It will lead you, like a will-o’-the-wisp, into a mysterious new realm: the fascinating study of words both real and fake.”
— Terrance Hudson, Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, NC

NATIONAL BESTSELLER“You wouldn’t expect a comic novel about a dictionary to be a thriller too, but this one is. In fact, [it] is also a mystery, love story (two of them) and cliffhanging melodrama.” —The New York Times Book Review

An award-winning novel that chronicles the charming misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman put on his trail a century later to root out his misdeeds while confronting questions of her own sexuality and place in the world.

Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement.

In the final year of the nineteenth century, Peter Winceworth is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby’s multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. But his disaffection with his colleagues compels him to assert some individual purpose and artistic freedom, and he begins inserting unauthorized, fictitious entries. In the present day, Mallory, the publisher’s young intern, starts to uncover these mountweazels in the process of digitization and through them senses their creator’s motivations, hopes, and desires. More pressingly, she’s also been contending with a threatening, anonymous caller who wants Swansby’s staff to “burn in hell.” As these two narratives coalesce, Winceworth and Mallory, separated by one hundred years, must discover how to negotiate the complexities of life’s often untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path. An exhilarating, laugh-out-loud debut, The Liar’s Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity, and joy of language while peering into questions of identity and finding one’s place in the world.
ELEY WILLIAMS is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is the author of Attrib. and Other Stories, and her work has appeared in The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story, Liberating the Canon, the Times Literary Supplement, and London Review of Books. She lives in London.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593311868
ISBN-10: 0593311868
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English
ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR • Winner of the Betty Trask Award • Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize

“You wouldn’t expect a comic novel about a dictionary to be a thriller too, but this one is. In fact, Eley Williams’s hilarious new book, The Liar’s Dictionary, is also a mystery, love story (two of them) and cliffhanging melodrama. . . . A thoughtful inquiry into truth and meaning.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
“An audacious, idiosyncratic dual love story about how language and people intersect and connect, and about how far we'll go to save what we're passionate about…Showcases a delight in language that evokes both Nabokov and—more on point with its mix of playfulness, profundity, warmth, and heart—Ali Smith.”
NPR

"Delightful. . . . Underneath this novel’s extremely bookish mystery is the idea that our identities are as improvisatory as the words we affix to them, and that even the dictionary, the most seemingly staid and impartial arbiter of truth, is an ‘unreliable narrator.'"
The Wall Street Journal

"A playful paean to lexicology. . . . Although the book abounds in dramatic incident, its main focus, like the characters’, is not actions but words, and 'the transformative power of proper attention paid to small things.'"—The New Yorker

"“[The Liar’s Dictionary] resembles a bonsai tree—compact, wizened and funny. It’s about fricatives and vowels and Latin and love; it’s about updating the meanings of words like 'dyke,' 'teabag' and 'marriage.' . . . Plot is not why a reader should come to The Liar’s Dictionary. One approaches it instead for highly charged neurotic situations and for Williams’s adept word-geekery. Her esotericism is always on cheerful display." 
The New York Times

"The Liar’s Dictionary is the book I was longing for. So eudaemonical, so felicific and habile! A harlequinade of cachinnation! It's hilarious and smart and charming and I loved it. Read it. It’s the book you’re longing for."
Andrew Sean Greer, 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for Less

"An improbably enchanting, rollicking novel about two generations of put-upon London lexicographers, The Liar's Dictionary is positively intoxicated with the joy and wonder of language, both authentic and, often hilariously, counterfeit, and I can assure you that it's quite the contact high. Eley Williams brings erudition and playfulness—and lovely sweetness—to every page."
Benjamin Dreyer, New York Times bestselling author of Dreyer's English 

"A virtuoso performance full of charm. . . . It's simultaneously a love story, an office comedy, a sleuth mystery and a slice of gaslit late Victoriana...The Liar's Dictionary is a glorious novel—a perfectly crafted investigation of our ability to define words and their power to define us."
The Guardian

"Perfectly calibrated. . . . For a novel as finely tuned as this, to leave one with a sense of the intoxicating hopefulness of chance is its greatest achievement in a competitive field.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Wildly funny. . . . If you love words and the mysteries behind them, then you’ll likely enjoy this book.”
The Maine Edge (Bangor)

“I’ve lost my heart to The Liar’s Dictionary. . . . A fab tale for lovers of language and mystery.”
—Kathi Wolfe, Washington Blade

"[An] incisive meditation on language. . . . Williams interrogates the charged nexus where language 'meets' human experience."
Chicago Review of Books

"Comically inventive.The author combines a Nabokovian love of wordplay with an Ali Smith–like ability to create eccentric characters who will take up permanent residence in the reader’s heart. This is a sheer delight for word lovers." 
Publisher's Weekly (starred)

"An imaginative, funny, intriguing novel...Williams has created a supremely entertaining and edifying meditation on how language records and reflects how we see the world, and what we wish it could be."
—BookPage

"A remarkable novel...Original and often very funny, The Liar’s Dictionary is an offbeat exploration of both the delights of language and its limitations."
Sunday Times (UK)

“Deft and clever, refreshing and rewarding. . . . An assured and satisfying writer, her language rich and intricate and her characters rounded enough to be sympathetic and lampoonist enough to be terribly funny.”
—Literary Review (London)

MACBETH, by Nesbo NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, November 16, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com

Macbeth: William Shakespeare's Macbeth Retold: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare) By Jo Nesbo Cover Image

Macbeth: William Shakespeare's Macbeth Retold: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare) (Paperback)

$16.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Sep 29 1:18am
NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018

Shakespeare’s dark and tragic play retold in a heart-pounding New York Times bestselling thriller from the author of The Snowman and The Thirst.

 
Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo's Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way. 
 
Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.
JO NESBO is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novels include The Snowman, The Leopard, and Phantom and he is the author of several stand-alone novels, including The Son, as well as the Doctor Proctor series of children's books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel.
Product Details ISBN: 9780553419078
ISBN-10: 0553419072
Publisher: Hogarth
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Pages: 464
Language: English
Series: Hogarth Shakespeare
Praise for Macbeth:

“Inventive and deeply satisfying...[Nesbo] offers a dark but ultimately hopeful Macbeth, one suited to our troubled times.” 
—James Shapiro, New York Times Book Review (cover)

“Nesbo manages the balancing act of being true to the original play without slighting his own interests as a writer: bleak settings, loyalty (or the lack thereof) among crooks, clever escapes from tight spots, the affinities between policemen and the criminals they chase.”
The Washington Post

"Nesbø has adhered to his contract, delivering a book that plays off of Shakespeare's work but succeeds as his own."
—NPR.org

“The legions of readers who adore the dark Scandinavian noir of Jo Nesbø will also love Macbeth, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play.”
USA Today

Macbeth is a modern-day drug-war, power-struggle, double-cross, lawmen-versus-gangsters recast of Shakespeare’s Scottish play.”
Associated Press
 
“Nesbø infuses the mythic elements of the tragedy with bold strokes of horrific, Don Winslow–like drug-war realism. The result displays in a strikingly original way both the timelessness of Shakespeare’s art and the suppleness of noir to range well beyond the strictures of formula.”
Booklist (starred)
 

Praise for Jo Nesbø:

 
"Jo Nesbø is my new favorite thriller writer."
—Michael Connelly
 
"Nesbø's much-heralded gifts are on display--using his talent for conjuring the chilly Munch-like atmospherics of Oslo in the winter and his eye for grisly, alarming details that slam home the horror of the evil that men do."
New York Times Book Review
 
"The world is dark and frozen, according to Nordic noir, and so is the human heart. But it's the magic Nesbø works with the genre's tropes that matters. . . . [He] might be my favorite of the lot."
Chicago Tribune
 
“Nesbø writes like an angel. As in Lucifer.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“Nesbø explores the darkest criminal minds with grim delight and puts his killers where you least expect to find them. . . . His novels are maddeningly addictive.”
Vanity Fair
 
“In the crowded field of Scandinavian crime fiction, Nesbø’s books stand out. . . . Nesbø likes to rip plots up . . . to play with the conventions of his genre.”
The New Yorker
 
“[Nesbø is] the writer most likely to take the ice-cold crown in the critically acclaimed—and now bestselling—category of Nordic noir.”
Los Angeles Times
 
“I am the world’s greatest living crime writer. [Jo Nesbø] is a man who is snapping at my heels like a rabid pitbull poised to take over my mantle when I dramatically pre-decease him.”
—James Ellroy
 
“The next Munch or Ibsen could be Jo Nesbø”
—CNN




LOVE SONGS OF W E B DU BOIS, by Jeffers NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, October 19, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Novel By Honoree Fanonne Jeffers Cover Image

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Novel (Paperback)

$20.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
19 on hand, as of Sep 29 1:18am
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
3 on hand, as of Sep 29 1:33am
Politics and Prose at Union Market
3 on hand, as of Sep 29 1:33am

September 2021 Indie Next List


“This is the best book I’ve read this year. An ambitious debut novel tracing the history of one family against the backdrop of American history and showing the stories that are remembered and the ones that are forgotten.”
— Benedict Tanter, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2021

AN OPRAH BOOK CLUB SELECTION

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR FICTION

FINALIST FOR THE PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD FOR DEBUT NOVEL • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • A FINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE FOR FICTION • SHORTLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE • LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE • A NOMINEE FOR THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD

A New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year • A Time Must-Read Book of the Year • A Washington Post 10 Best Books of the Year • A Oprah Daily Top 20 Books of the Year • A People 10 Best Books of the Year • A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year • A BookPage Best Fiction Book of the Year • A Booklist 10 Best First Novels of the Year • A Kirkus 100 Best Novels of the Year • An Atlanta Journal-Constitution 10 Best Southern Books of the Year • A Parade Pick • A Chicago Public Library Top 10 Best Books of the Year • A KCRW Top 10 Books of the Year

An Instant Washington Post, USA Today, and Indie Bestseller

"Epic…. I was just enraptured by the lineage and the story of this modern African-American family…. A combination of historical and modern story—I’ve never read anything quite like it. It just consumed me." —Oprah Winfrey, Oprah Book Club Pick

An Indie Next Pick • A New York Times Book Everyone Will Be Talking About • A People 5 Best Books of the Summer • A Good Morning America 15 Summer Book Club Picks • An Essence Best Book of the Summer • A Washington Post 10 Books of the Month • A CNN Best Book of the Month • A Time 11 Best Books of the Month • A Ms. Most Anticipated Book of the Year • A Goodreads Most Anticipated Book of the Year • A BookPage Writer to Watch • A USA Today Book Not to Miss • A Chicago Tribune Summer Must-Read • An Observer Best Summer Book • A Millions Most Anticipated Book • A Ms. Book of the Month • A Well-Read Black Girl Book Club Pick • A BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Literary Book of the Summer • A Deep South Best Book of the Summer • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award 

The 2020 NAACP Image Award-winning poet makes her fiction debut with this National Book Award-longlisted, magisterial epic—an intimate yet sweeping novel with all the luminescence and force of Homegoing; Sing, Unburied, Sing; and The Water Dancer—that chronicles the journey of one American family, from the centuries of the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to our own tumultuous era. 

The great scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers—Ailey carries Du Bois’s Problem on her shoulders.

Ailey is reared in the north in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging that’s made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women—her mother, Belle, her sister, Lydia, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries—that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead.

To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors—Indigenous, Black, and white—in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story—and the song—of America itself.

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a fiction writer, poet, and essayist. She is the author of five poetry collections, including the 2020 collection The Age of Phillis, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award, the George Washington Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She was a contributor to The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward, and has been published in the Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, and other literary publications. Jeffers was elected into the American Antiquarian Society, whose members include fourteen U.S. presidents, and is Critic at Large for Kenyon Review. She teaches creative writing and literature at University of Oklahoma. The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois is her first novel and was a New York Times bestseller, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, longlisted for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Fiction, longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and an Oprah Book Club Pick.

Product Details ISBN: 9780062942951
ISBN-10: 0062942956
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
Pages: 816
Language: English

“Whatever must be said to get you to heft this daunting debut novel by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, I’ll say, because The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is the kind of book that comes around only once a decade. Yes, at roughly 800 pages, it is, indeed, a mountain to climb, but the journey is engrossing, and the view from the summit will transform your understanding of America. . . . With the depth of its intelligence and the breadth of its vision, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is simply magnificent.” — Ron Charles, Washington Post

“Triumphant. . . . Quite simply the best book that I have read in a very, very long time. . . . An epic tale of adventure that brings to mind characters you never forget: Meg Murry in A Wrinkle in Time, Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn. . . . The historical archives of Black Americans are too often filled with broad outlines of what happened. . . . One of the many triumphs of Love Songs is how Jeffers transforms this large history into a story that feels specific and cinematic in the telling. . . . Just as Toni Morrison did in Beloved, Jeffers uses fiction to fill in the gaping blanks of those who have been rendered nameless and therefore storyless. . . . A sweeping, masterly debut.” — Veronica Chambers, New York Times Book Review

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is epic in its scope. [It] traces the story of a family, the town in Georgia where they come from, and their migration outward over generations. The word epic is overused these days, but this book was meant to be an epic and it is. . . . This is one of the most American books I have ever read. It’s a book about the United States. It’s a book about the legacy of slavery in this country. . . . And it’s also a book about traumas and loves that sustain over generations.” — Noel King, NPR

“[An] ambitious début novel, by a noted poet. . . . Jeffers amasses details, richly rendering suffering and resistance.”  — New Yorker

“A feat of beauty and breadth.” — Time, 100 Must-Read Books of the Year

“This sweeping, brilliant and beautiful narrative is at once a love song to Black girlhood, family, history, joy, pain . . . and so much more. In Jeffers's deft hands, the story of race and love in America becomes the great American novel.” — Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone and Another Brooklyn

"Stunning." — People, Top 10 Books of the Year

“A sweeping matriarchal epic that leads readers through a majestic tour of race, family, and love in America, this striking debut novel by an award-winning poet is, indeed, the Great American Novel at its finest.” — Joshunda Sanders, Boston Globe’s Best Books of the Year

“With The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, Jeffers has created an opus, an indelible entry to the canon of contemporary American literature and one of the foundational fictional texts of Black literature worthy of sitting alongside Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing.” — Latria Graham, Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

“Stupendously good. . . . Jeffers’ renditions of Black family traditions and the burden of respectability politics are spot-on, and made me wish the book was even longer.” — Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR Best Books of the Year

“As one of the most prolific poets of our time, Jeffers has penned a family saga that is just as brilliant as it is necessary, just as intimate as it is expansive. An outstanding portrait of an American family and in turn, an outstanding portrait of America.” — Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give

“This ambitious debut novel by a National Book Award-nominated poet chronicles the journey of an American family from the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to our present day, and one Black woman’s coming-to-terms with her legacy." — Barbara VanDenburgh, USA Today

“[A] generational magnum opus.” — O, the Oprah Magazine

“Utterly remarkable.” — Karla Strand, Ms.

“A vibrant and tender coming-of-age novel. Ailey Pearl Garfield is a young girl reckoning with what it means to be a Black woman in America. . . . [Ailey’s] journey features complex and intimate narratives of love and heartbreak from her family’s two centuries in the American South, giving her not only insight into her family’s complicated past, but also the tools to imagine her own future.” — Time

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, from acclaimed poet and first-time novelist Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, has hit every note—and the finished product feels like a Southern gospel song that makes the chest swell with emotion.” — Nylah Burton, Shondaland

"If you read one book this year, choose this one. I went to bed thinking of Ailey Pearl Garfield and woke up thinking of her. With the arrival of this epic novel of family, race, and ancestral legacy, one of America's finest poets has announced herself as a storyteller of the highest magnitude. Absolutely brilliant." — Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Wench and Balm

“[A] soaring debut [and] a moving portrait of an American family and its history. It’s beautifully told—it’s sexy, confrontational, tragic—and does exactly what good historical fiction should: holds you fast, brings you closer to history and humanity, and sticks with you for days.” — Genevieve Walker, San Francisco Chronicle

“Prepare to be wholly engrossed. . . . This profound reading experience brought me a deep awareness of intergenerational trauma and triumph. [A] phenomenal saga. . . . Jeffers’s Ailey Pearl Garfield is one of the most fully realized central protagonists and interlocutors that I’ve encountered in fiction. Jeffers celebrates Black women not as saints or saviors, but brilliant survivors who embody joy and genius along with their history.” — Lauren LeBlanc, Observer

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is an investment, but a worthy one. It's the kind of epic that deserves its own place in the sun.” — Chris Vognar, Star Tribune

“It’s not often I get to the last few chapters of an 816-page book and wish it wouldn’t end so soon. But that’s what happened when I read The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, the stunner of a debut novel by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. It’s historical fiction in which a solid base of research is brought brilliantly to life by a cast of memorable characters and irresistible storytelling.” — Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

“From our earliest roots, African and Indigenous, to our present-day realities weighed down by inequity and injustice, Jeffers writes about all of us with such tenderness and deep knowing. Hers is the gorgeous prose one expects from a gifted, accomplished poet, masterful and stunning, as she explores both the bountiful resilience of Black folks and the insidious depravity wrought by white supremacy. These Love Songs make for a frank, feminist, and unforgettable read.” — Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“A story filled with suffering, resilience—and a surprising twist.” — Perdita Buchan, New York Journal of Books

"A sprawling, ambitious debut novel that is as impassioned in promoting Black women’s autonomy as it is insistent on acknowledging our common humanity. . . . Jeffers, a celebrated poet, manages the difficult task of blending the sweeping with the intimate. . . . If this isn’t the Great American Novel, it's a mighty attempt at achieving one." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Poet Jeffers reinvigorates the multigenerational saga in her first novel, an audacious, mellifluous love song to an African American family. . . . Jeffers’ lyrical cadences shimmer. . . . Incandescent and not to be missed.” — Lesley Williams, Booklist (starred review)

"In her debut novel, celebrated poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers weaves an epic ancestral story. . . . From slavery to freedom, discrimination to justice, tradition to unorthodoxy, this story covers large parts of not just of Ailey’s heritage but also America’s. . . . The result is a dazzling tale of love and loss. . . . Comparisons to Toni Morrison are bound to be made and. . . . The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois earns its place among such company, as Jeffers engages with and builds upon the legacy of African American literature as carefully and masterfully as she does the narrative of Ailey’s family." — Eric Ponce, BookPage

“In this dazzling debut, generations of high yellow and brown ‘skin-ded’ women in one Georgia family explore the complexities of kin, the legacies of trauma, with all the sharp corners and blind alleys of real life. Wise, funny, deeply moving, I can’t tell you how much I love this book. A few times a generation a book comes along that gathers you up with its force, its insights, its sound and fury, its lyrical beauty. The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is one of those books. Not merely a good novel, but a great and important one.” — Stephanie Powell Watts, author of No One Is Coming to Save Us

“A staggering and ambitious saga. . . .Themes of family, class, higher education, feminism, and colorism yield many rich layers. Readers will be floored." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Textually connected to the works of Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison, to name a few, [The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is] a judicious study of American history that humanizes its participants through exploration of their stories. . . . Reminiscent of both Alex Haley’s Roots and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, the novel captures the spiritual resilience of African American women. . . . An amazing first novel." — Adele Newson-Horst, World Literature Today

“At once ambitious and intimate . . . [it] calls to mind the brilliant work of Yaa Gyasi in 'Homegoing'. . . the inherent poetry of its language makes the novel absolutely exhilarating. The achievement of Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is certainly in the risks she is willing to take.” — Steven Whitton, Anniston Star 

“Three talented narrators transport listeners with this absorbing novel. This lyrical debut, which is at once expansive and intimate, explores timely issues of intergenerational trauma, colorism, class divides, and higher education. . . . Narrator Adenrele Ojo could teach a master class in narration with her flawless portrayals of the intelligent, sensitive Ailey; her wise, courageous Uncle Root; and the other unforgettable contemporary family members.” — AudioFile

“For me, this doesn't take much thought. It is THE novel of the year. This astonishing work is the first fiction by a writer whose poetry collections are profound and beautiful. In this book, a young woman follows her family history into the recesses of slavery in America. The young woman is a historian, so we are following her into her stunning access to the documentation of her family's capture and beyond, to the present.” — Michael Silverblatt, KCRW’s Top 10 Books of the Year



Pages