Tuesday, 7:30 pm EDT March 30, 2021
Online via Zoom
Whiting Award-winning author Kaitlyn Greenidge joins author Mira Jacob (Good Talk) to celebrate the launch of Libertie. Coming off the major success of her debut novel We Love You, Charlie Freeman, Greenidge returns with a powerful narrative about the meaning of freedom for black women. Told in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, musically-inclined protagonist Libertie seeks to etch out a life of independence while navigating relationships with her white-passing physician mother and her Haitian partner, who remains entrenched in his country’s patriarchy. Acclaimed stage and screen actor Kara Young will open the event with a dramatic reading from Greenidge’s new novel.
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Kaitlyn Greenidge’s debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, was one of the New York Times Critics’ Top 10 Books of 2016 and a finalist for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times, and her writing has also appeared in Vogue, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Greenidge lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Born and raised in Harlem, Kara Young’s film and television credits include Chemical Hearts (Amazon, dir. Richard Tanne); After Yang (A24, dir. Kogonada); Hair Wolf, winner of Sundance 2018 Short film Jury Award: US fiction; and Random Acts of Flyness (HBO); The Punisher (Netflix). Young’s theater work includes All The Natalie Portmans (dir. Kate Whoriskey, MCC), Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven (dir. John Ortiz, Atlantic), New Englanders (dir Saheem Ali, MTC), Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d (dir. Awoye Timpo, The Duke), Syncing Ink (dir. Niegel Smith, Alley Theatre, The Flea), and Pretty Hunger (dir. Martha Banta, The Public). Young is a member of the Labyrinth Theater Company and a 2020 Lucielle Lortel Nominee for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play, an Antonyo Award Nominee for Best Actor in a Play, and a recipient of Audelco’s 2020 Special Achievement Award. She is also the live voice over announcer for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 MTV Video Music Awards and MTV’s Girl Code.
Mira Jacob is a novelist, memoirist, illustrator, and cultural critic. Her graphic memoir Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award, named a New York Times Notable Book, as well as a best book of the year by Time, Esquire, Publisher’s Weekly, and Library Journal. It is currently in development as a television series.
Her novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary Eagles Prize and named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and the Millions.
By Kaitlyn Greenidge
Published by Algonquin Books
Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.
Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new novel resonates in our times and is perfect for readers of Brit Bennett, Min Jin Lee, and Yaa Gyasi.
About this series
Our Story/Teller series features actors reading from new works of fiction to give audiences a taste of the language, characters, and story, followed by moderated conversations with the authors.
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