Charis welcomes Tiphanie Yanique in conversation with Glory Edim for a celebration of Monster in the Middle: A Novel. From the award-winning author of Land of Love and Drowning, an electric new novel that maps the emotional inheritance of one couple newly in love. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
When Fly and Stela meet in 21st Century New York City, it seems like fate. He's a Black American musician from a mixed-religious background who knows all about heartbreak. She’s a Catholic science teacher from the Caribbean, looking for lasting love. But are they meant to be? The answer goes back decades—all the way to their parents' earliest loves.
Vibrant and emotionally riveting, Monster in the Middle moves across decades, from the U.S. to the Virgin Islands to Ghana and back again, to show how one couple's romance is intrinsically influenced by the family lore and love stories that preceded their own pairing. What challenges and traumas must this new couple inherit, what hopes and ambitions will keep them moving forward? Exploring desire and identity, religion and class, passion and obligation, the novel posits that in order to answer the question “who are we meant to be with?” we must first understand who we are and how we came to be.
Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the award-winning novel Land of Love and Drowning, as well as the poetry collection Wife. Winner of the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel award, and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Award and a Fulbright scholarship. Her short fiction has been published in The New Yorker and anthologized in Best American Short Stories 2020. Originally from the Virgin Islands, she now lives in Atlanta, where she is a professor at Emory University.
Glory Edim is the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, a book club and digital platform that promotes Black literature and sisterhood. She won the Innovator’s Award at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. Edim is also the editor of Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves and On Girlhood: 15 Stories from the Well-Read Black Girl Library.
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“Reveals on every page how love can persevere and take shape over time and space.”—Boston Globe
"Transporting and deeply emotional.”—Glamour
“One of the most inventive and talented stylists of her generation.” —Vulture
A critically acclaimed debut from an award-winning writer—an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.
An enthralling debut collection from a singular Caribbean voice
For a leper, many things are impossible, and many other things are easily done. Babalao Chuck said he could fly to the other side of the island and peek at the nuns bathing. And when a man with no hands claims that he can fly, you listen.
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The title of Wife is both ironic and deeply serious. There are wittily sharp poems on the gender inequalities and potential prisons of marriage, that are in dialogue with poems that celebrate the physical joys of intimacy and poems that explore the processes of self-creation that take place in the closeness to the male other.
NPR • Best Books of 2021Proudly introducing the Well-Read Black Girl Library Series, On Girlhood is a lovingly curated anthology celebrating short fiction from such luminaries as Rita Dove, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and more.
“When you look over your own library, who do you see?”
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.