Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Lauren LeBlanc for THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS

Loyalty is thrilled to welcome Honorée Fanonne Jeffers in conversation with Lauren LeBlanc for The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois! This event will be held digitally via Crowdcast. Click here to register for the event with a donation of any amount of your choice or you can order the book below to be added to the event's registration list. Donations will go to BLM DC. There will also be an option to snag the book during the event.

ABOUT THE BOOK

“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' 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

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize • An Indie Next Pick • A People 5 Best Books of the Summer • An Essence Best Book of the Summer • 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 Book Page Writer to Watch • A USA Today Hottest Summer Book • A Chicago Tribune Summer Must-Read • An Observer Best Summer Book • A Millions Most Anticipated Book • 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 National Book Award–nominated poet makes her fiction debut with this magisterial epic—an intimate yet sweeping novel with all the luminescence and force of HomegoingSing, 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a fiction writer, poet, and essayist. She is the author of five poetry volumes and has published writing in The Fire This TimeKenyon Review (where she is Critic at Large)Iowa Review, and more. For her latest volume of poetry, The Age of Phillis, Jeffers was longlisted for a National Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry CollectionHonorée was recently named the winner of the 2021 United States Artists Fellowship and has been nominated for a NAACP Image Award. She was one of a handful of authors highlighted in the recent ABA Buzz Panel. Jeffers teaches creative writing and literature at University of Oklahoma.

ABOUT THE IN CONVERSATION PARTNER

Lauren LeBlanc is the NY Observer's books columnist and an independent book editor. She has written for the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post among others.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this virtual event. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 8:00pm
Event address: 
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: An Oprah's Book Club Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062942937
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - August 24th, 2021

The Age of Phillis (Wesleyan Poetry) Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780819579492
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wesleyan University Press - March 3rd, 2020