Wednesday, May 4, 2022

In Conversation with Rachel M. Harper

Rachel M. Harper’s The Other Mother (Counterpoint) is a page-turning generational saga about a young man’s search for a parent he never knew, and a moving portrait of motherhood, race, and the truths we hide in the name of family. Jenry Castillo is a musical prodigy, raised by a single mother in Miami. He arrives at Brown University on a scholarship — but also to learn more about his late father, Jasper Patterson, a famous ballet dancer who died tragically when Jenry was two. On his search, he meets his estranged grandfather, Winston Patterson, a legendary professor of African American history and a fixture at the Ivy League school, who explodes his world with one question: Why is Jenry so focused on Jasper, when it was Winston’s daughter, Juliet, who was romantically involved with Jenry’s mother? Juliet is the parent he should be looking for — his other mother. Revelation follows revelation as each member of Jenry’s family steps forward to tell the story of his origin, uncovering a web of secrecy that binds this family together even as it keeps them apart. Moving seamlessly between the past and the present, The Other Mother is a daring, ambitious novel that celebrates the complexities of love and resilience — masterfully exploring the intersections of race, class, and sexuality; the role of biology in defining who belongs to whom; and the complicated truth of what it means to be a family. Harper will be joined in conversation by Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming and Red at the Bone.

website: us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/4416502968183/WN__buLQCuTRXmJCWFB2ZcTrw

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Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is an American writer of books for adults, children, and adolescents. She is best known for her National Book Award-Winning memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, and her Newbery Honor-winning titles After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. Her picture books The Day You Begin and The Year We Learned to Fly were NY Times Bestsellers. After serving as the Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017, she was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress for 2018–19. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2020. Later that same year, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.