The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (Paperback)Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (author)
An incredibly powerful, richly layered fiction debut from the acclaimed poet, The Love Songs of W.E.B. du Bois is a sweeping tale of inheritance and reckoning with history that follows young African-American woman Ailey as she traces her family roots in the Deep South across two centuries.
A breathtaking and ambitious debut novel that chronicles the journey of multiple generations of one American family, from the centuries of the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to our own tumultuous era, by prize-winning poet Honoree Fanonne Jeffers.
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.
Ailey grows up 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 her 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 she 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.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 816
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 51 mm
‘Prepare to be wholly engrossed… Phenomenal’ Observer ‘Utterly essential’ iNews ‘Intimate, considered, beautifully written and perceived, ambitious and ultimately satisfying. Outstanding’ Daily Mail ‘Astonishing… I lived in this novel for three weeks. It is long. It is a journey. It is something so remarkable I’m not sure we collectively ever even dreamed it.’ Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple ‘Beautifully, and traumatically, weaves a spell of a story about more than ten generations of an American family―indigenous, African and European… Remarkable’ Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish) ‘Breath-taking … A book I urge everyone to read. It is deeply moving and deeply informative. It is magnificent’ Sarah Winman, author of Still Life ‘Exceptional in the way it engages so deeply and emphatically with history’ Guardian ‘Epic and intimate… an extraordinary achievement’ The Spectator ‘A work of profound beauty’ Irish Times ‘Extraordinary … moving and evocative’ TLS ‘The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is the kind of book that comes around only once a decade … Simply magnificent’ Washington Post ‘Quite simply the best book that I have read in a very, very long time’ New York Times ‘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 ‘Masterful and stunning … These Love Songs make for a frank, feminist, and unforgettable read’ Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
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“A breathtaking saga..”
I was totally engrossed by this ambitious novel which tells the story of generations of one family and also the history of centuries of the colonial slave trade from the Civil War to now.
It chronicles the... More
“An Absolute Must-Read for Everyone”
I received an advance copy of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I'm daunted by the prospect of writing this review because I'm not sure I have the words to give it what it deserves. This... More
“Deserves all the praise it's getting”
This book really does deserve all the plaudits and praise coming its way, I have found it an epic, important and engaging read - packed full of drama, character, history and education.
The central character, Ailey... More
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