From the best-selling author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a searing multi-generational novel--set in the 1980s in racially and politically turbulent Philadelphia and in the tiny town of Bonaparte, Alabama--about a mother fighting for her sanity and survivalFrom the moment Ava Carson and her ten-year-old son, Toussaint, arrive at the Glenn Avenue family shelter in Philadelphia 1985, Ava is already plotting a way out. She is repulsed by the shelter's squalid conditions: their cockroach-infested room, the barely edible food, and the shifty night security guard. She is determined to rescue her son from the perils and indignities of that place, and to save herself from the complicated past that led them there. Ava has been estranged from her own mother, Dutchess, since she left her Alabama home as a young woman barely out of her teens. Despite their estrangement and the thousand miles between them, mother and daughter are deeply entwined, but Ava can't forgive her sharp-tounged, larger than life mother whose intractability and bouts of debilitating despair brought young Ava to the outer reaches of neglect and hunger. Ava wants to love her son differently, better. But when Toussaint's father, Cass, reappears, she is swept off course by his charisma, and the intoxicating power of his radical vision to destroy systems of racial injustice and bring about a bold new way of communal living.
Brilliant, explosive, vitally important new work from one of America's most fiercely talented storytellers.
Ayana Mathis's first novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was a New York Times best seller, an NPR Best Book of 2013, the second selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. and has been translated into sixteen languages. Her nonfiction has been published in the The New York Times, The Atlantic, Guernica, and RollingStone. Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. She was born in Philadelphia, and currently lives in New York City where she teaches writing in Hunter College's MFA Program.
- Publisher: Knopf (September 26, 2023)
- Language: English
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- ISBN-10: 0525519939
- ISBN-13: 9780525519935
- Item Weight: 1.39 pounds
- Dimensions: 6.13 x 0.94 x 9.25 inches