From TEXAS MONTHLY: The Story of Latoya Watkin’s PERISH

Watkins’s debut novel, Perish (Penguin / Tiny Reparations Books, August 23), revises and expands on that early novella. It tells the story of Helen Jean Turner, the dying matriarch of a Black family, and her descendants, many of whom are returning home to the fictional West Texas town of Jerusalem to say their last goodbyes. Helen Jean has suffered from […]

Novelist Naomi Jackson on Her Journey Back to Strength

Three springs ago, I lost the better part of my mind. I remember it starting with my feet. I woke up one February morning in the South Bronx apartment I’d just moved into with my husband, and my feet were so swollen I could barely fit them into my roomiest sneakers. I called in sick […]

On Richard Wright’s THE MAN WHO LIVED UNDERGROUND from London Review of Books

When​ Richard Wright sailed to France in 1946, he was 38 years old and already a legend. He was America’s most famous black writer, the author of two books hailed as classics the moment they were published: the 1940 novel Native Son and the 1945 memoir Black Boy. By ‘choosing exile’, as he put it, he hoped both […]

Faculty Member Ravi Howard Travels to Ernest Gaines’ Louisiana

I often travel to places I’ve read about, and I like how the remembered story unfolds as I drive, at once moving toward a destination and returning to a memory. On this particular trip, I’m rememberingErnest J. Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, a novel that follows the 100-year life of Miss Jane, from her […]

Angela Flournoy in The Nation

Brand Yeezy To what extent can Kanye West continue to foreground the commercial components that make his art possible before we no longer consider him an artist at all? By Angela Flournoy What could we possibly not know about Kanye West? He has rapped, tweeted, blogged, and ranted about his feelings for years. His wife’s […]