The African American Authors Book Club is on Hiatus for the summer. Regular meetings resume in September.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 5:00 p.m.
Home by Toni Morrison: An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. His home--and himself in it--may no longer be as he remembers it, but Frank is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from, which he's hated all his life. As Frank revisits the memories from childhood and the war that leave him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he thought he could never possess again. A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood--and his home. - Publisher
Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 5:00 p.m.
Chasing Utopia by Nikki Giovanni: With Chasing Utopia, Nikki Giovanni, one of America’s most celebrated artists, demands that the prosaic—flowers, birdsong, winter—be seen as poetic.
The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements and inspired songs, turned hearts and informed generations. She’s been hailed as a healer and a national treasure. But if her reputation is writ large upon the national stage, her heart resides in the everyday where family and lovers gather, friends commune, and those no longer with us are remembered.
And at every gathering there is food, food as sustenance, food as aphrodisiac, food as memory. A pot of beans are flavored with her mother’s sighs, this sigh part cardamom, that one the essence of clove; a lover requests a banquet as an affirmation of ongoing passion; an homage is paid to the most time-honored appetizer, soup. - Publisher
Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 5:00 p.m.
Laelia by Ruth-Miriam Garnett: Laelia is the story of the Cates sisters, vibrant and prosperous African American matrons who decide to free themselves from ailing husbands and lackluster marriages. Led by the eldest sister, Rebecca, the three women embark upon a plan to discreetly but systematically place their men in care facilities. Rebecca commandeers her two younger sisters, Claudia and Gracelyn -- assigning each a role in distracting their community from their real intent -- to live life unencumbered by rarely sober Timothy, confused Jake, and terminally ill Bernard. Rebecca's skillful strategizing ensures that the women will emerge from their plan smelling like roses, their good names intact, despite the Old Testament rantings of their Baptist pastor and relentlessly gossiping neighbors in their small-town world of Peoria, Illinois. Claudia, instructed by Rebecca to be more outgoing, enchants her parochial neighbors with her refined bearing and urbane chic. Gracelyn corrals the Sunday school children and stages a play about Harriet Tubman, equipped with Greek chorus. When Hillary Clinton appears at a tea the sisters host at their mansion for the churchwomen, the Cates women achieve a veritable coup, establishing themselves as the indisputable leaders of their newly empowered female neighbors. These unforgettable women, united in their purpose, transcend the unkind hand fate dealt them as younger women. They find themselves anew and introduce the possibility of midlife romance. Laelia tells a tale of sisterly devotion and love, and the ties that bind as well as liberate. - Publisher