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

Daytime
Wednesday, September 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 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
6 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:19pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
1 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:33pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
2 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:33pm

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



WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL, by Massey NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, August 17, 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 Widows of Malabar Hill (A Perveen Mistry Novel #1) By Sujata Massey Cover Image

The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Perveen Mistry Novel #1) (Paperback)

$16.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
1 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:19pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
2 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:33pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
1 on hand, as of Dec 2 1:33pm

January 2018 Indie Next List


“This is a harrowing story - and the mystery is great, too! Life for a single woman in Bombay in 1916 is fraught. But Perveen Mistry has the support of her lawyer father and is educated as a lawyer, as very few women are in this time and place. She becomes essential when the law firm needs to interview three widows living in full purdah, secluded from the world in general and men in particular. When their house agent is murdered, the male police are stymied by the women's inaccessibility. The backstory is disturbing in how the law favored even abusive men over women. A fascinating start to a new series.”
— Lisa Wright, Oblong Books And Music,LLC., Millerton, NY

Winter 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List


“Fascinating detail about life in 1920s Bombay combines with a clever mystery to make this a pleasure to read. Perveen Mistry has overcome the poor decisions of her youth that have imbued in her a passion for women’s rights, achieved a degree in law at Oxford, and joined her father’s law firm as the first woman to practice law in India. While she is not allowed to argue cases in court, she is able to help with all the contractual aspects of a law practice. Looking over the estate of Omar Farid, she notices some suspicious aspects to the paperwork and is concerned about the welfare of the three widows who live in strict purdah. When a murder occurs, Perveen gets involved in the investigation. What really sets this engaging series launch apart is its great use of interesting historic detail.”
— Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

1920s India: Perveen Mistry, Bombay's only female lawyer, is investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in full purdah when the case takes a turn toward the murderous. The author of the Agatha and Macavity Award–winning Rei Shimura novels brings us an atmospheric new historical mystery with a captivating heroine.

This Deluxe Paperback Edition features: an interview with the author, discussion questions, essays on the real-life inspirations behind the novel, delicious recipes taken from the story, and previews of The Satapur Moonstone.

Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father's law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes women's legal rights especially important to her.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X—meaning she probably couldn't even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah—in strict seclusion, never leaving the women's quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate, and realizes her instincts were correct when tensions escalate to murder. Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger.

Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India's first female attorney, The Widows of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp new sleuth.
Sujata Massey was born in England to parents from India and Germany, grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a features reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun before becoming a full-time novelist. The first Perveen Mistry novel, The Widows of Malabar Hill, was an international bestseller and won the Agatha, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark Awards. She is also the author of The Satapur Moonstone, the second Perveen Mistry novel. Visit her website at sujatamassey.com.
Product Details ISBN: 9781616959760
ISBN-10: 1616959762
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: November 20th, 2018
Pages: 432
Language: English
Series: A Perveen Mistry Novel
A Parade Magazine 101 Best Mystery Books of All Time
2019 American Library Association Reading List for Mystery: Winner and Top Pick
Winner of the 2019 Mary Higgins Clark Award
Winner of the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Historical Novel

Winner of the the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel
Winner of the 2019 Sue Feder Macavity Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery
Finalist for the 2019 Shamus Award

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018
An ABA IndieNext Selection
A Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2018
A WBUR On Point Best Book of 2018
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2018
A Times of India Best Book of 2018
An Apple iTunes Most Anticipated Book of 2018
#2 on Cosmopolitan’s 33 Books to Get Excited About in 2018
The Bookseller (UK) Editor’s Pick for Mystery
Maryland Humanities Route 1 Reads Selection for 2020

Praise for
The Widows of Malabar Hill

“These India-set stories put [Massey's] concerns with fairness and equality into a sparkling setting that shows how universal the fight for justice must be.”
—Parade Magazine

The Widows of Malabar Hill, with its deft prose and well-wrought characters, is a splendid first installment in what promises to be a memorable series."
—Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"Marvelously plotted, richly detailed . . . This is a first-rate performance inaugurating a most promising series." 
—The Washington Post

"Perveen Mistry has all the pluck you want in a sleuthing lawyer, as well as a not-so-surprising—but decidedly welcome—proclivity for poking her nose into the business of others. The pages do indeed fly."
—Marissa Stapley, The Globe and Mail

"The Widows of Malabar Hill contains multitudes, tackling women’s history and rights, while treating readers to a riveting story."
—The National Post

"Perveen’s dogged pursuit of truth and justice for her clients is reminiscent of the debuts of Anne Perry’s Charlotte Ellison Pitt and Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs. But the multicultural, multi-faith milieu in which Perveen lives, works and attempts to find love both illuminates a bygone era and offers a thoughtful perspective relevant to today’s focus on women’s rights and equality." 
—Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times

"Cool and cunning."
—The Boston Globe

"A fascinating setting, an extraordinary new sleuth, and a story that enthralls you—The Widows of Malabar Hill has all three and more. Sujata Massey's new historical series is absolutely terrific, and you are just going to love Perveen Mistry, India's first female lawyer."
—Charles Todd, bestselling author of the Ian Rutledge series and the Bess Crawford series

"Perveen Mistry is an extraordinary heroine—one of the first female lawyers in India, she’s whip smart, strong-willed, and, most importantly, compassionate. Defying convention while draped in a sari, Perveen is sure to join the leads of great mystery fiction."
—Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times bestselling author of the Maggie Hope mysteries

"You get a mystery but you also get all the cultural details. I like that." 
—NBC New Day Northwest

"I've been complaining for several years now that we don't have enough competent female leads in mystery series, and Sujata Massey has delivered with The Widows of Malabar Hill. I was taken in by this Law and Order-esque tale set in lush, swing-era Bombay, and I loved seeing Perveen proceed with a cool head and a fiery heart. Readers looking for a strong female heroine, a vivid setting and a strange mystery will find it here."
—The News Tribune

"There’s so much to admire in Massey’s writing: sumptuous details, attention to the senses and a tightly-plotted mystery that explores domains beyond normal trials and tribulations. It’s writing that’s easy to take for granted, but as we know, anything that easy is deceptively hard."
—Baltimore Fishbowl

"Massey deftly evokes the sights, the sounds, and the heat of Bombay as her clever and determined heroine, aided by a large supporting cast of sharply-drawn characters, sidesteps both custom and danger to deliver justice."
—Vannessa Cronin, The Amazon Book Review

"Massey's extensive research of Bombay during British imperial rule, its various ethnic communities and their respective legal customs, is seamlessly folded into the fabric of the story. The book is filled with fascinating bits of culture and history, a look at India's Parsi and Muslim communities, well-written courtroom scenes, and even a locked-room murder."
—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

"A spectacular mystery to kickstart your year."
—Bustle

"Perveen is the kind of plucky, determined, practical, wounded, ahead-of-her-time protagonist an avid clique of mystery readers adore. She is destined to find a home with fans of like-minded female investigators such as Mary Russell and Maisie Dobbs, whose creators, like Massey, deftly anchor their solid plots in the realities, and challenges, of their times."
—Los Angeles Review of Books

"I can’t wait to see what happens next."
—Crime Time (UK)

"A sneaky feminist masterpiece wrapped up in a cozy whodunit . . . just genius."
—WBUR's On Point

"[A] setting and protagonist are like nothing I’ve encountered in a mystery before: 1920s Bombay and one of India’s first female lawyers, who’s 'devoted to championing and protecting women’s rights.'" 
—BookRiot's "44 Mystery Romance Novels to Read Right Now"

"A compelling look into Indian society through the eyes of a remarkable heroine."
—LitHub

"Delightful."
—Read or Dead podcast

"[An] outstanding series launch . . . The period detail and thoughtful characterizations, especially of the capable, fiercely independent lead, bode well for future installments."
—Publishers Weekl
y, Starred Review

"[Massey] does a wonderful job of taking life in India at the beginning of the 20th century. She gives enough cultural details without overwhelming readers with facts. The two plotlines wonderfully depict the development of the main character and the mystery as it unfolds . . . Fresh and original."
—Library Journal, Starred Review

"In addition to getting an unusual perspective on women’s rights and relationships, readers are treated to a full view of historical downtown Bombay—the shops and offices, the docks and old fort, and the huge variety of conveyances, characters, and religions—in an unforgettable olio that provides the perfect backdrop to the plot and subplots. Each of the many characters is uniquely described, flaws and all, which is the key to understanding their surprising roles in the well-constructed puzzle."
Booklist, Starred Review

"[A] highly original story and satisfying ending make this a promising series debut." 
—Mystery Scene Magazine

"History and culture blend in an involving and fast-paced mystery . . . Perveen is a fascinating character—smart, resourceful, ready to take on prejudices against women in the law." 
—St. Paul Pioneer Press

"[A] lush, captivating debut series about 1920s Bombay."
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"An enticing and enlightening whodunit that addresses social issues and India’s multiple cultures."
—Richmond Times-Dispatch

"There is a new sleuth on the literary map and her name is Perveen Mistry, practicing woman lawyer, feminist, survivor of abuse and solver of murder mysteries. In The Widows of Malabar Hill, Sujata Massey brings 1920s Bombay to life, a time when the British still ruled, single women were not served alcohol in restaurants and there was murder most foul. With an indomitable heroine and a solid cast of sidekicks, this is the start of a series mystery readers should not miss." 
—Amulya Malladi, bestselling author of A House for Happy Mothers and The Copenhagen Affair

"Perveen is strong, tenacious and smart, just the kind of advocate you'd want to have on your side. And as someone who was born and raised in the city, I love the way in which Massey recreates colonial Bombay, down to the architecture, social interactions,politics and gender dynamics. You can feel the breeze coming off the Arabian Sea and taste the pastries at Yazdani's bakery."
—Radha Vatsal, author of A Front Page Affair

"Introducing an incisive, sympathetic heroine with a painful past while shedding light on a fascinating cloistered historical world, The Widows of Malabar Hill is not only immediately engaging—it has staying power." 
—Lyndsay Faye, Edgar-nominated author of Gods of Gotham and Jane Steele

"Perveen Mistry is a rarity: a female solicitor in a bastion of masculinity! An astonishing heroine—fearless, intelligent and determined—she makes a memorable debut in Sujata Massey’s The Widows of Malabar Hill. A gripping whodunnit, full of excitement and heart, the novel also delightfully evokes Bombay in the 1920s—and celebrates the Parsi community that continues to enrich their beloved city." 
—Bapsi Sidhwa, author of Ice Candy Man and Water

"Sujata Massey is one of the most talented writers working today. In her hands, 1920s Bombay comes alive with the sounds, sights and smells of a place and time where women were still second class citizens. Perveen Mistry is an unforgettable heroine, fighting for justice in an enigmatic, beautiful and flawed world. With gorgeous prose, Massey weaves a captivating mystery. The Widows of Malabar Hill is an extraordinary novel."
—Allison Leotta, author of The Last Good Girl

"Wonderful . . . A rich blend of history and fiction, [The Widows of Malabar Hill] brings historical Bombay to vibrant life in this engaging mystery."
—The Seattle Review of Books

"One of the great joys of this novel is the life Massey brings to Bombay, which in her telling is a truly stunning chaos of peoples, cultures and religions."  
The Colonial (Montgomery County)

"Exciting and suspenseful . . . [The Widows of Malabar Hill] features Massey’s literary strength in dynamic character development and lyrical prose."
—Shepherd Express

"Abolutely intriguing."
—WJBC's Booknotes

"The moment we heard about Perveen, India's first woman lawyer who solves crimes, we knew we had to get our hands on this book. And The Widows of Malabar Hill didn't disappoint. Sujata Massey paints a beautiful historical landscape of 1920s Bombay and the many cultures living there at the time."
—Reading Women Podcast

"A tightly-crafted mystery, a vividly-drawn multicultural setting, and a plucky heroine fiercely taking on the challenges of her time."
—Modern Mrs. Darcy

"Certain to please a wide range of readers . . . [Perveen Mistry] won’t take no for an answer, she’s hungry for knowledge and justice, and she’s on her way to making history." 
—India Currents Magazine

"Brilliant." 
—The Times of India

"The Widows of Malabar Hill is an exquisite tapestry weaving together mystery with a crash course in colonial India, its customs, and the expectations of women in the 1920s . . . It also brings you the sights, smells, and tastes of 1920s India (which may make you crave coconut rice at 2 a.m.)"
—Rewire News

"Sharp."
The Asian Age

"Perveen Mistry is a terrific heroine."
—New York Journal of Books

"A fascinating look behind the curtain of women’s lives in pre-Independence India."
—Historical Novel Society

"Perfect for fans of Vaseem Kahn's Inspector Khan series . . . A super book."
—Robert Daws, Partners in Crime Podcast

"A fascinating series opener."
—Stop! You're Killing Me

"The mystery is a strong one because readers must acquaint themselves with this unfamiliar world in order to piece together what happened. And what can I say about the setting? Massey pulled me right into this world, and I was almost on sensory overload. The old ways versus the new. Bombay's rapid growth into a vibrant major city. The various political, religious, and social factions that chafed against each other on a daily basis. And one woman, with the support of her parents, who's strong enough to stand up for what's right. A+"
—Kittling Books

"Well written, highly detailed, and engaging, THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL shows Massey's extensive writing experience, as well as an acute eye for human frailty and conflict. I'm glad to note from her material that there's a sequel on the way."
—Kingdom Books

"The Widows of Malabar Hill is a gorgeous epic, a significant statement on women's rights, a fascinating armchair tour, and, yes, a thriller of a murder mystery."
—Reviewing the Evidence

"I could envision this series being televised by the BBC or Masterpiece: Mystery! (Hint, hint.)" 
—Over My Dead Body

"Perveen Mistry is a wonderful creation."
—Books to the Ceiling (blog)

"Tantalizing."
—The Teal Mango

"A fascinating setting and great characters."
—Smart Bitches

"Rich with culture and customs of different facets of Indian society . . . It’s like I could imagine the traffic on the street—it was that vivid."
—Girl XOXO

"The Widows of Malabar Hill introduces you to Perveen Mistry, a feminist character you will instantly fall in love with . . . The plot tackles gender equality, religious tolerance and communal harmony and that is what makes the character a true inspiration."
—iDiva.com

"Launches Sujata Massey’s new historical mystery series in fine style . . . The Widows of Malabar Hill shows that Massey has been inspired both by her newest creation and her setting, with the promise of a great series to come."
—MADReads, the review of the Madison Public Library 

"A refreshingly original mystery . . . What comes through most strongly in this entertaining work, though, is the status of women, and how much Perveen had to accomplish to get where she is."
—Reading the Past blog

Praise for Sujata Massey


“Beautifully constructed and highly emotional. Massey’s knowledge of Japanese antiques and downtown D.C. enhances the story.”
USA Today
 
“A sprightly, engaging tale by setting a classic English-style whodunit in contemporary Japan . . . This young, hip, sake-sipping sleuth leads a reader into a Tokyo that doesn’t make the guidebooks . . . Sly, sexy and deftly done, Wife is one to bring home.”
People Magazine
 
“Enthralling.”
Dallas Morning News

“Sujata Massey has worked her award-winning series to be a mirror on the Japan culture as seen through the eyes of an outsider . . . The result in Massey’s nine novels are an intuitive view of contrasting societies and a young woman trying to find her place in the world.”
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
 
“Rei is a fascinating character: bold, unique, spirited and intelligent . . . Massey makes good use of the clash between American and Japanese cultures as a backdrop for an enjoyable story.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Riveting . . . The Sleeping Dictionary, an utterly engrossing tale of love, espionage, betrayal and survival, is historical fiction at its best, accessible to all audiences.”
Booklist, Starred Review

"A compelling look into Indian society through the eyes of a remarkable heroine."
—Literary Hub

STORM, by Stewart NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, July 20, 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

Storm By George R. Stewart, Nathaniel Rich (Introduction by) Cover Image

Storm (Paperback)

By George R. Stewart, Nathaniel Rich (Introduction by)

$17.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
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A thrilling, innovative novel about the interplay between nature and humankind by the author of Names on the Land.

With Storm, first published in 1941, George R. Stewart invented a new genre of fiction: the eco-novel. California has been plunged into drought throughout the summer and fall when a ship reports an unusual barometric reading from the far western Pacific. In San Francisco, a junior meteorologist in the Weather Bureau takes note of the anomaly and plots “an incipient little whorl” on the weather map, a developing storm, he suspects, that he privately dubs Maria. Stewart’s novel tracks Maria’s progress to and beyond the shores of the United States through the eyes of meteorologists, linemen, snowplow operators, a general, a couple of decamping lovebirds, and an unlucky owl, and the storm, surging and ebbing, will bring long-needed rain, flooded roads, deep snows, accidents, and death. Storm is an epic account of humanity’s relationship to and dependence on the natural world.
George R. Stewart (1895–1980) was born in Pennsylvania and educated at Princeton. He received his PhD in English literature from Columbia in 1922 and joined the English faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1924. He was a sociologist, toponymist, and founding member of the American Name Society, and the author of more than twenty books, including the highly successful novel Earth Abides and several works of American history. In addition to Storm, NYRB Classics publishes his study of American place names, Names on the Land.

Nathaniel Rich is the author of Second NatureLosing Earth, a finalist for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Award and a winner of awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Institute of Physicists; and the novels King ZenoOdds Against Tomorrow, and The Mayor’s Tongue.
Product Details ISBN: 9781681375182
ISBN-10: 1681375184
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: August 17th, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English
“Man versus nature, and the ability of humans to cope under environmental stress, are Stewart’s two obsessions. He is at once a chronicler of the achievements and architectures of modern civilization and an ecological fatalist. . . . In Storm, he went so far as to write what he called a biography of the weather.” —Christine Smallwood, The Nation

“Weather is here for the first time given the importance in fiction that it has in fact. . . . It is impossible to forget, anywhere in the novel, the impending weight of that mighty movement of the air. . . . Stewart with admirable ingenuity and sure craftsmanship has let us look for a moment at the mortar that holds a civilization together. A good many of his readers will never again . . . note a cloud without remembering at least momentarily that the air, not the earth, is our mortal home.” —Wallace Stegner, The Boston Globe

“[Stewart] presents meteorological detail with obsessive care, although not without wry humor. . . . By looking down on society from the height of a tempest, [Storm] frames all human and animal lives—earnest and ignorant, shaped by forces they forget to consider—as being on the same side as they strive for meaning and survival.” —Blair Braverman, The New York Times Book Review

“The storm itself . . . becomes absorbing as few human characters, in fiction, ever are. It is a splendid job of research and design.” —Time

Storm is considered the first of its kind, paving the way for an entire genre of fiction, the eco-novel. Fans of The Overstory will be transfixed with this reissue, which follows the storm every day of its existence as we would a volatile and dramatic character, and leaves us with a renewed awareness of the interconnectedness of our mysterious and awe-inspiring world.” —Julia Hass, Lit Hub

“A massive winter storm brings destruction, peril, and death to drought-plagued California....A new introduction by Nathaniel Rich provides historical context for Stewart's reissued classic, first published in 1941. Pure excitement for eco-fiction fans.” —Kirkus, starred review

“[Storm’s] very structure is anti-anthropocentric. Unfolding over twelve chapters, each corresponding to a different day, the novel proceeds mosaic-like. . . . Everything, both manmade and natural, is connected in Storm’s ecosystem; everything that happens has wide-ranging consequences, the butterfly effect in full force.” —Andrew Schenker, The Baffler

“Unlike anything else out there.” —Stuart Miller, The Orange County Register

“Viewed through the prisms of climatological, geological, and evolutionary processes, humans are more or less interchangeable, their parochial concerns necessarily banal. This is what Stewart’s work conveys at its best: a sense of humility and an appreciation of the contingent status of our own species, endlessly threatened as it is by a relentless, hostile nature. . . Stewart’s body of work feels proleptically tailored to an era of catastrophic ecological decline. . . . Storm is a dense web of accidents, a vast orchestral work in which each moving part bespeaks an organic relationship to the whole.” —Matthew Sherrill, Harper’s

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