Kia Corthron and Dennis Brownlee for MOON AND THE MARS **IN-PERSON**

Loyalty is very excited to welcome Kia Corthron and Dennis Brownlee to celebrate Moon and the Mars! This event will take place at Loyalty Petworth (843 Upshur Street NW, Washington, DC 20011). **This event is free to attend, but registration is required** You can purchase the book from Loyalty below or in-person during the event! Please email  with any questions.


A vivid account of life in New York City for the Black and Irish communities and the events that precipitated—and decided—the Civil War, from the Draft Riots and the the decisive entry of Black soldiers into the Union Army, told through the perspective of a mixed-race orphan.

"Corthron, a true heir to James Baldwin, presents a startlingly original exposure of the complex roots of American racism." —Naomi Wallace, MacArthur "Genius" Playwriting Fellow and author of One Flea Spare

In Moon and the Mars, set in the impoverished Five Points district of New York City during the Civil War, we experience neighborhood life through the eyes of a young girl named Theo. We follow her from childhood to adolescence, as a mixed-race orphan living between the homes of her Black and Irish grandmothers.

Over the course of the novel we encounter history from the draft riots that tear New York City asunder to the post-slavery period to Black people being a key part of the Union victory. Theo witnesses everything from the creation of tap dance to P.T. Barnum's sensationalist museum as white America's attitudes towards race, people of color, and slavery are shifting—painfully, transformationally—as the nation divides and marches to war.

Corthron's use of dialogue brings her characters to life in a way that only an award-winning playwright and scriptwriter can do. As Theo grows and attends school, her language and grammar change, as does her own vocabulary when she's with her Black or Irish families. It's an extraordinary feat and a revelation for the reader.


Kia Corthron is a playwright and novelist. Her play Tempestuous Elements will premiere at Arena Stage this month. Her debut novel, The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter, won the coveted First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction in 2016. It was championed by Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, Robin D. G. Kelley, and Angela Y. Davis, among many others, and received rave reviews in the New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice), the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. For her body of work for the stage, she has garnered the Windham Campbell Prize for Drama, the United States Artists Jane Addams Fellowship, the Horton Foote Award, and others. She has written for The New York Times Book Review and The Dramatist. She was born and raised in Cumberland, Maryland, and lives in Harlem, New York City.


Dennis Brownlee is the founder and chairman of the African American Irish Diaspora Network (AAIDN). He became connected with Ireland several years ago, after following up on information his mother shared with him in his youth about their Scots-Irish ancestry in addition to his African American identity. He also later discovered through DNA research that he has Irish lineage on his father’s side of the family. 

Mr. Brownlee had an extensive career as an entrepreneur and business development executive in media and entertainment before launching AAIDN. At iHeartMedia, he was vice president and managing director of syndicated urban radio and online networks including The Steve Harvey Morning Show, among others. Prior to that, he developed a cable TV network with Quincy Jones and David Falk that led to the launch
of TVOne. He was a vice president and board member of United States Satellite Broadcasting Company, which launched the nation’s first satellite-to-home television broadcasting system in partnership with DirecTV, and he served as chairman of the Direct Broadcast Satellite Association. He is an Emmy Award winning executive producer of the documentary On Hallowed Ground: Streetball Champions of Rucker Park. He began his career in IT with IBM, and then developed an IT management firm that became one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s top 100 companies. Mr. Brownlee received his AB degree in economics from Princeton University. He is a trustee emeritus of Princeton and a trustee emeritus of Deerfield Academy.

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

Event date: 
Thursday, February 1, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
843 Upshur Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
Moon and the Mars: A Novel By Kia Corthron Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644213162
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Seven Stories Press - September 12th, 2023

The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter: A Novel By Kia Corthron Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781609808075
Published: Seven Stories Press - October 17th, 2017

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