“Empathetic, riveting, and authentic,” writes author Laura Dave of We Are Not Like Them, the triumphant novel from Christine Pride and Jo Piazza. Told through alternating perspectives, the novel is an evocative exploration of race in America and the love that keeps us going. Pride, a columnist and publishing veteran, and Piazza, an award-winning journalist, joined us to discuss their novel, conversations on race, and the path forward with moderator Chitra Aiyar.
We Are Not Like Them
By Christine Pride & Jo Piazza
Published by Atria Books
Told from alternating perspectives, this “propulsive, deeply felt tale of race and friendship” (People) follows two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event.
Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.
But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in freefall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.
Like Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage and Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, We Are Not Like Them takes “us to uncomfortable places—in the best possible way—while capturing so much of what we are all thinking and feeling about race. A sharp, timely, and soul-satisfying novel” (Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author) that is both a powerful conversation starter and a celebration of the enduring power of friendship.
Christine Pride is a writer, editor, and longtime publishing veteran. She’s held editorial posts at many different trade imprints, including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, Hyperion, and Simon & Schuster. As an editor, Christine has published a range of books, with a special emphasis on inspirational stories and memoirs, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. As a freelance editorial consultant, she does select editing and proposal/content development, as well as teaching and coaching, and pens a regular column—“Race Matters”—for Cup of Jo. She lives in New York City.
Photo Credit: Christine Han
Jo Piazza is an award-winning journalist, editor and podcast host. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Marie Claire, Glamour, and other notable publications. She is also the author of Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, How to Be Married, The Knockoff, Fitness Junkie, and If Nuns Ruled the World. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two small children.
Photo Credit: Brittney Valdez
Chitra Aiyar is an attorney, educator, and mayoral appointee to the NYC Commission on Gender Equity. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Sadie Nash Leadership Project, which supports young women and gender-expansive youth of color develop critical consciousness and lead lives in committed pursuit of joy and liberation for self and community. Chitra is an avid reader, bookclub participant, and is thrilled to be a neighbor of The Center for Fiction.