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The Center for Fiction Presents Rachel Eliza Griffiths on Promise with Marlon James

July 13, 2023

The Center for Fiction welcomed Rachel Eliza Griffiths to celebrate the debut of her new novel, Promise. Set in 1957 at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, Griffiths’s luminous work speaks to the often-overlooked experiences of Black people in integrated communities of New England, richly illustrating one family’s powerful story of resistance. As rising tensions reach their idyllic, isolated Maine village and violence, prejudice, and fear continue to escalate among their previously friendly white neighbors, the Kindred family commits great acts of heroism and grace on their path to survival. Bestselling author Marlon James, winner of the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, joined Griffiths in a powerful discussion of what James called “a secret history of an America we think we know, but never really knew.”

In Conversation

  • 2214591_griffiths_rachel_eliza - Events The Center for Fiction

    Rachel Eliza Griffiths

    Rachel Eliza Griffiths

    Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet, visual artist, and novelist. She is a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for a NAACP Image Award. Griffiths is also a recipient of fellowships from many organizations, including Cave Canem Foundation, Kimbilio, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Yaddo. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Tin House, and other publications.

    Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan

  • Marlon James_c Mark Seliger 2021

    Marlon James

    Marlon James

    Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. His most recent novel, Moon Witch, Spider King, is the second novel in his Dark Star fantasy trilogy. Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first novel in James’s Dark Star trilogy, was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. His novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, was the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, The American Book Award, and The Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize for fiction. He is also the author of the novels John Crow’s Devil and The Book of Night Women, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

    Photo Credit: Mark Seliger