In this unflinching debut novel, I was quickly swept into the lives of Bibike and Ariyike, twin sisters growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. The twins and their two brothers live a comfortable middle-class life until it is disrupted by the financial failings of their parents. Poverty stricken and abandoned, they are left in the reluctant care of their traditional grandmother. Writing with piercing intimacy, Abraham reveals how the four children’s lives unfold and the divergent pathways the twins choose after their shared childhood. With themes focusing on poverty, family, ambition, sex, love, and faith, I am certain you will find this a compelling read.
-KarnaPurchase from Creating Conversations › Visit Tola Rotimi Abraham’s website ›
In a story that could be ripped from today’s headlines, Your House Will Pay tells of two LA families – one African-American, the other Korean-American – each dealing with their own long-simmering tensions. Told from the perspectives of a son and daughter, a new crime makes these families collide in a way that could be disastrous for all. Steph Cha’s book is potent and important storytelling.Purchase from Creating Conversations › Visit Steph Cha’s website ›
From the first page of this novel I was rooting for Adunni, the brave Nigerian girl who dreams of having a “louding voice”…..a chance to have a say in her own future. This coming of age story is written in Adunni’s voice and beautifully enriched by its cadence and prose. As this intelligent village girl struggles to reach her dream of becoming a teacher, a sad glimpse of contemporary Nigeria is revealed: a society that does not tolerate choice for young girls. You will enjoy the emotional ride and I guarantee you will not forget the characters you meet along the way.
-KathyPurchase from Creating Conversations › Visit Abi Daré’s website ›
Lyrical essays, translated letters, and remembrances of studying English literature and competitive hip-hop dancing may not sound like a page turner, but I took in this magnificent memoir in two large gulps. Eun Ji is a young girl of fifteen when her parents move to Korea without her. Left behind with her older brother in California, she learns to navigate her adolescence without a mother’s guidance. Meanwhile, some 6,000 miles away, her mother is writing letters: defending her choices, imploring her daughter for forgiveness, and telling stories of her family’s history. Years later Koh finds these letters, and this resulting memoir exposes the fierce yet delicate love between mothers and daughters.
-JenPurchase from Creating Conversations › Visit E. J. Koh’s website ›
In this beautifully written collection of essays, I found a meditative invitation to explore the important relationships that bind the natural and human worlds. Though written in poetic prose, each essay in this stunning collection can stand alone as a scholarly, scientific discussion. Yet surprisingly, this collection is particularly appropriate during our turbulent times. The essays offer a measure of tranquility and hope, and a timely observation about the adaptability of many species—including human—to strike a positive and hopeful note.
-MaryPurchase from Creating Conversation › Visit Helen Macdonald’s website ›
With the growing divisions in our country, we were both drawn to this book to deepen our understanding of America’s heartland. Marie Mutsaki Mockett embeds herself with a custom harvesting crew as it works its way from Texas to Idaho harvesting wheat. She is a city person who knows little about growing and harvesting wheat, but she has long been interested in the GMO vs. organic debate. Throughout her journey, Mockett asks questions about technology and farming, Christianity and the Evangelical church, intellectualism and belief, attitudes towards gays, and city people vs. farm people. We enjoyed her exploration of the range of beliefs and attitudes that make up this country.
-Anne and BrookePurchase from Creating Conversations › Visit Marie Mutsaki Mockett’s website ›
Edward, twelve years old, is the only survivor of a horrific airplane crash that kills his immediate family. He goes to live with his aunt and uncle, dealing with survivor’s guilt while becoming the focus of the nation’s compassion. In a lovely coming of age story, Ann Napolitano’s Dear Edward tells how one boy finds his way to a new life.Purchase from Creating Conversations › Visit Ann Napolitano’s website ›
In a rich story of the 1850’s West, Tea Obreht’s Inland tells of unforgettable characters who never quite meet. Family, and drought, including conversations with camels and the dead, are all interwoven in this heartbreaking story of Nora, a valiant frontierswoman and Luri, an orphan and outcast. There are sons and daughters, townspeople and Arkansas rangers, all playing their parts in this luminous tale.Purchase from Creating Conversations › Visit Téa Obreht’s website ›
Violence, race, class and region form the basis of Valentine, Elizabeth Wetmore’s debut novel set in West Texas in 1976. In Literary Women’s first collaboration with bookseller Creating Conversations, Wetmore, interviewed by radio personality Pam Atherton, discusses her writing process, her inspirations, and her journey to her first novel.Purchase from Creating Conversations › Visit Elizabeth Wetmore’s website ›
Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a western mining town. Together, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future. How Much of These Hills are Gold is a stunning debut that blends the American West with Chinese mysticism.Purchase from Creating Conversations › Visit C Pam Zhang’s website ›