Author Tiphanie Yanique.
Inprint, Houston, Texas's premier literary arts nonprofit organization, is hosting a livestream event on January 24 that will feature rising literary stars Tiphanie Yanique, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. The event will start at 7:00 p.m. Central Time, and is part of the 2021/2022 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series.
Both authors will give short readings from their new novels Monster in the Middle, and The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, followed by a conversation with Joy Sewing, Lifestyle and Culture Columnist at the Houston Chronicle, according to a release provided to the Consortium.
“Tiphanie Yanique is a prodigiously talented new writer with a sharp voice, wicked humor, and compassion beyond measure,” says fiction author Tayari Jones. A former Houstonian, Yanique received an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship while earning an MFA from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. She will read from and talk about her new novel Monster in the Middle, which was named a most anticipated book of the fall by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Kirkus, and Lit Hub. According to poet Natasha Trethewey, Monster in the Middle is “a compelling exploration of how we become who we are and how we manage to find our way to love. In her lyrical prose, the myriad possibilities of being—the accidents of birth, of sex, of race and geography, the choices we make, our compulsions—coalesce into something that feels, gloriously, like destiny.”
Vulture, an entertainment news website covering books, TV shows, movies, theater and more, said “Yanique is one of the most inventive and talented stylists of her generation…. She explores the way love can echo along the corridors of history, through police brutality and a pandemic, deftly weaving and juxtaposing the trajectories that make love possible.”
According to Inprint, Yanique’s first novel Land of Love and Drowning, inspired by her upbringing in the U.S. Virgin Islands, won the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
“Yanique’s vivid writing, echoing Toni Morrison and Gabriel García Márquez, builds a whole world within its language and cadence," said BookPage, a discovery resource for readers.
Named to the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “5 Under 35” list,” Yanique is also the author of the short story collection How to Escape a Leper Colony, the poetry collection Wife, and the children’s book I Am the Virgin Islands. Yanique is an Associate Professor of creative writing at Emory University.
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is gifted poet, essayist, and novelist who was honored with the Harper Lee Award for Literary Distinction for her lifetime of work on race, gender, and culture. Jeffers will read from and talk about her debut novel The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, which was an instant New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today bestseller. Receiving advanced praise from Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Stephanie Powell Watts, and many others, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois was selected as an Oprah’s Book Club pick and longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award.
According to Ron Charles in The Washington Post, “This is the kind of book that comes around only once a decade…. With the depth of its intelligence and the breadth of its vision, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is simply magnificent.”
Veronica Chambers, editor of narrative projects at The New York Times, said, “This is the best book I have read in a very, very long time…. Just as Toni Morrison did in Beloved, Jeffers uses fiction to fill in the gaping blanks of those who have been rendered nameless and therefore storyless.”
Drawing on her Southern roots, Jeffers is also author of five award-winning poetry collections including The Gospel Barbecue, Outlandish Blues, and Red Clay Suite. Her fifth collection The Age of Phillis won the NAACP Image Award and was nominated for the National Book Award, the PEN/Voelcker Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
This livestream event will be accessible via the Inprint website. General admission tickets for $5 are on sale now at inprinthouston.org.
The series is presented by Inprint, a Houston-based nonprofit literary arts organization dedicated to inspiring readers and writers. Since 1980, the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series has featured nearly 400 of the world’s great writers from 37 countries, including winners of 12 Nobel Prizes, 64 Pulitzer Prizes, 57 National Book Awards, 51 National Book Critics Circle Awards, and 16 Booker Prizes, as well as 19 U.S. Poets Laureate.
The series and Inprint receive generous support from The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Jerry C. Dearing Family Foundation, Houston Endowment, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The series is presented in association with Brazos Bookstore and University of Houston Creative Writing Program.