On Our Shelves Now
NOMINATED FOR AN NAACP IMAGE AWARD • An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.
“Yes, Well-Read Black Girl is as good as it sounds. . . . [Glory Edim] gathers an all-star cast of contributors—among them Lynn Nottage, Jesmyn Ward, and Gabourey Sidibe.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives—but not everyone regularly sees themselves in the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all—regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability—have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.
Contributors include Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and Barbara Smith (Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology)
Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club–turned–online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.
Praise for Well-Read Black Girl
“Each essay can be read as a dispatch from the vast and wonderfully complex location that is black girlhood and womanhood. . . . They present literary encounters that may at times seem private and ordinary—hours spent in the children’s section of a public library or in a college classroom—but are no less monumental in their impact.”—The Washington Post
“A wonderful collection of essays.”—Essence
About the Author
Glory Edim is the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, a Brooklyn-based book club and digital platform that celebrates the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood. In fall 2017 she organized the first-ever Well-Read Black Girl Festival. She has worked as a creative strategist for over ten years at startups and cultural institutions. Most recently, she was the Publishing Outreach Specialist at Kickstarter. She serves on the board of New York City's Housing Works Bookstore.
“Yes, Well-Read Black Girl is as good as it sounds. . . . The recipient of the 2017 L.A. Times Innovator’s Award for her book club turned festival gathers an all-star cast of contributors—among them Lynn Nottage, Jesmyn Ward, and Gabourey Sidibe—to pay tribute to literature by, for, and about Black women.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“These essays build the altars for black women to recognize and support each other’s work, not as collectibles rendered visible or easily consumed by non-black audiences, but as an acknowledgment of black women as architects of their own futures and universes. . . . Each essay can be read as a dispatch from the vast and wonderfully complex location that is black girlhood and womanhood. . . . They present literary encounters that may at times seem private and ordinary—hours spent in the children’s section of a public library or in a college classroom—but are no less monumental in their impact.”—The Washington Post
“A wonderful collection of essays.”—Essence
“Glory Edim has curated a brilliant collection of essential American reading for the twenty-first-century reader. This book is smart, powerful, and complete.”—Min Jin Lee, author of the National Book Award finalist Pachinko and Free Food for Millionaires
“I love this collection of essays by black women, not only because of its incredible content, but because of the community that its editor, Glory Edim, has created with her book club of the same name. Well-Read Black Girl reenergized my love of storytelling as a black woman whose ‘life and obligations’ (read ‘friends and parties’) took priority over reading for a while. It was through WRBG that I remembered the beauty in books and seeing myself through the words of others. This book is that experience realized and brings me joy on a regular basis.”—Abby Andesanya, Glamour (“14 Books to Read in Honor of Black History Month”)
“Edim, creator of the Brooklyn-based Well-Read Black Girl book club, invites readers to discover uplifting stories by black women writers in this thoughtfully edited anthology. . . . This work affirms the transformative power of reading.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Edim’s collection of brief, pithy, and original essays by twenty-one distinguished black women addresses the question, ‘When did you first see yourself in literature?’ . . . Speaking directly to black women readers, this book contains a journey from which anyone can derive enjoyment and benefit.”—Publishers Weekly
“[A] vital anthology . . . ‘Well-Read Black Girl Recommends’ reading lists covering various themes and genres add to the reach and radiance of this empowering literary resource.”—Booklist
“Edim expands her breakout Brooklyn book club with this vibrant anthology celebrating black women in literature. The beyond impressive list of contributors includes Jesmyn Ward, Jacqueline Woodson, Tayari Jones, and Gabourey Sidibe.”—Entertainment Weekly