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skin & bones: Renée Watson in conversation with Susana Morris

Event date: 
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. REGISTER HERE. This event takes place at the Decatur Library Auditorium, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur, GA 30030.

Charis and the Georgia Center for the Book welcome Renée Watson in conversation with Susana Morris for a celebration of skin & bones: a novel. From the acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a soulful and lyrical novel exploring sisterhood, motherhood, faith, love, and ultimately what gets passed down from one generation to the next. 

At 40, Lena Baker is at a steady and stable moment in life—between wine nights with her two best friends and her wedding just weeks away, she’s happy in love and in friendship until a confession on her wedding day shifts her world.

Unmoored and grieving a major loss, Lena finds herself trying to teach her daughter self-love while struggling to do so herself. Lena questions everything she’s learned about dating, friendship, and motherhood, and through it all, she works tirelessly to bring the oft-forgotten Black history of Oregon to the masses, sidestepping her well-meaning co-workers that don’t understand that their good intentions are often offensive and hurtful.

Through Watson’s poetic voice, skin & bones is a stirring exploration of who society makes space for and is ultimately a story of heartbreak and healing. 

Renée Watson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. Her novel, Piecing Me Together, received a Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award. Her books include the Ryan Hart series, Some Places More Than Others, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me, Betty Before X, cowritten with Ilyasah Shabazz, Watch Us Rise, cowritten with Ellen Hagan, and Love Is a Revolution, as well as acclaimed picture books: The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, written with Nikole Hannah–Jones, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen and Harlem's Little Blackbird, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Renée splits her time between Portland, Oregon and New York City.


Susana Morris is Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been an Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University and was most recently the Norman Freeling Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women’s Literature (UVA 2014), co-editor, with Brittney C. Cooper and Robin M. Boylorn, of The Crunk Feminist Collection (Feminist Press 2017), and co-author, with Brittney C. Cooper and Chanel Craft Tanner, of the young adult handbook, Feminist AF: The Guide to Crushing Girlhood (Norton 2021). She is the co-founder of The Crunk Feminist Collective and has written for Gawker, Long Reads, Cosmopolitan.com and Ebony.com, and has also been featured on NPR, the BBC, Essence magazine, and the New York Times. She is currently at work on a cultural biography of Octavia Butler, Positive Obsession: The Life and Times of Octavia E. Butler.

The Georgia Center for the Book is committed to a safe environment. For the safety of their invited speakers, staff, and all attendees, we respectfully request that masks be worn in the venue for the duration of the event. We are currently limiting the capacity of the Auditorium to promote social distancing, so registration is required.

Event address: 
Decatur Library Auditorium
215 Sycamore Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Event Summary: 
From the acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a soulful and lyrical novel exploring sisterhood, motherhood, faith, love, and ultimately what gets passed down from one generation to the next.