Well-Read Black Girl Book Club chats RECITATIF *IN-PERSON*
This month's Well-Read Black Girl book club chats about Recitatif by Toni Morrison, with Sarah @bookishandblack facilitating! This space is created to be a safe and centering space for Black Women readers. In 2023, our WRBG Book Club meetings will take place in-person at Loyalty's Petworth location at 7 PM on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Please note: face masks are required for this indoor event. RSVP using the form below to let us know you'll be joining us for this month's meeting!
ABOUT THE CLUB
The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club is a national book club started by Glory Edim that now has additional meetups hosted by Indie Bookstores around the US. This book club centers Black women, their stories, voices, and experiences. While everyone is welcome to attend, this space is created to be a safe and centering space for Black Women readers. The club reads a variety of genres, classics, new literature and nonfiction, and YA that covers the breadth of experience from the Black American and African diaspora. Loyalty's club often reads along with the national club recs and sometimes reads local area authors from Chocolate City. We often feature selections from the Well-Read Black Girl Anthology as well.
Our host is Sarah Coquillat, also known as the bookstagrammer @bookishandblack.
ABOUT THE BOOK
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A beautiful, arresting story about race and the relationships that shape us through life by the legendary Nobel Prize winner—for the first time in a beautifully produced stand-alone edition, with an introduction by Zadie Smith
“A puzzle of a story, then—a game.... When [Morrison] called Recitatif an ‘experiment’ she meant it. The subject of the experiment is the reader.” —Zadie Smith, award-winning, best-selling author of White Teeth
In this 1983 short story—the only short story Morrison ever wrote—we meet Twyla and Roberta, who have known each other since they were eight years old and spent four months together as roommates in St. Bonaventure shelter. Inseparable then, they lose touch as they grow older, only later to find each other again at a diner, a grocery store, and again at a protest. Seemingly at opposite ends of every problem, and at each other's throats each time they meet, the two women still cannot deny the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them.
Another work of genius by this masterly writer, Recitatif keeps Twyla's and Roberta's races ambiguous throughout the story. Morrison herself described Recitatif, a story which will keep readers thinking and discussing for years to come, as "an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial." We know that one is white and one is Black, but which is which? And who is right about the race of the woman the girls tormented at the orphanage?
A remarkable look into what keeps us together and what keeps us apart, and how perceptions are made tangible by reality, Recitatif is a gift to readers in these changing times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Toni Morrison is the author of eleven novels and three essay collections. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1993 the Nobel Prize in Literature. She died in 2019.
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia, and two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
ABOUT THE HOST
Sarah Coquillat is the bookworm behind Bookish and Black. A health policy researcher by day, she created Bookish and Black to engage with other readers and encourage literary discussion. Sarah is passionate about social justice and reading BIPOC authors.
Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during our virtual and in-person events.