A spellbinding ode to Memphis, as well as a celebration of the strength and defiance of three generations of a Southern black family who live there
'Tara Stringfellow will be an author to watch for years to come . . . A stellar debut' Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling author of Red at the Bone
Joan can't change their past
But she can create her future
Joan was only a child the last time she visited Memphis. She doesn't remember the bustle of Beale Street on a summer's night. She doesn't know she's as likely to hear a gunshot ring out as the sound of children playing. How the smell of honeysuckle is almost overwhelming as she climbs the porch steps to the house where her mother grew up. But when the front door opens, she does remember Derek.
This house full of history is home to the women of the North family. They are no strangers to adversity; resilience runs in their blood. Fifty years ago, Hazel's husband was lynched by his all-white police squad, yet she made a life for herself and her daughters in the majestic house he built for them. August lives there still, running a salon where the neighbourhood women gather. And now this house is the only place Joan has left. It is in sketching portraits of the women in her life, her aunt and her mother, the women who come to have their hair done, the women who come to chat and gossip, that Joan begins laughing again, begins living.
Memphis is a celebration of the enduring strength of female bonds, of what we pass down, from mother to daughter. Epic in scope yet intimate in detail, it is a vivid portrait of three generations of a Southern black family, as well as an ode to the city they call home.
Written with the grace of a poet, Memphis is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. I fell in love with this family, from Joan's fierce heart to her grandmother Hazel's determined resilience. Tara Stringfellow will be an author to watch for years to come . . . A stellar debut - Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling author of Red at the Bone
In luminous, lyrical prose, Tara Stringfellow sings the song of the North women-and the North men-with wisdom, humor, and deep humanity. Memphis is an American epic, a tribute to life in all of its sorrow and joyful resilience - Chloe Benjamin, bestselling author of The Immortalists
An evocative, compelling tale that mines the depths of collective Black pain to arrive at something that might be, for once, Black healing. Writing in the ancestral tradition of stories passed from one generation to the next-relived, revised, revealed-Tara M. Stringfellow assembles an endearing and unforgettable cast of characters who find strength in vulnerability, safety in art, and liberation in telling the truth. This is a shining, splendid testimony in the vein of Gloria Naylor, Delores Phillips, Ayana Mathis, and Honoree Jeffers - Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Prophets