Join us as we talk to Margaret Wilkerson Sexton about her new release, On The Rooftop.
When: November 3 at 7PM CST
Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden
How: Grab a free ticket OR purchase the book with your ticket to support the authors and our store programming.
About the Book
A stunning novel about a mother whose dream of musical stardom for her three daughters collides with the daughters’ ambitions for their own lives—set against the backdrop of gentrifying 1950s San Francisco
At home they are just sisters, but on stage, they are The Salvations. Ruth, Esther, and Chloe have been singing and dancing in harmony since they could speak. Thanks to the rigorous direction of their mother, Vivian, they’ve become a bona fide girl group whose shows are the talk of the Jazz-era Fillmore.
Now Vivian has scored a once-in-a-lifetime offer from a talent manager, who promises to catapult The Salvations into the national spotlight. Vivian knows this is the big break she’s been praying for. But sometime between the hours of rehearsal on their rooftop and the weekly gigs at the Champagne Supper Club, the girls have become women, women with dreams that their mother cannot imagine.
The neighborhood is changing, too: all around the Fillmore, white men in suits are approaching Black property owners with offers. One sister finds herself called to fight back, one falls into the comfort of an old relationship, another yearns to make her own voice heard. And Vivian, who has always maintained control, will have to confront the parts of her life that threaten to splinter: the community, The Salvations, and even her family.
About the Author
MARGARET WILKERSON SEXTON, born and raised in New Orleans, studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. Her most recent novel, The Revisioners, won a 2020 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and a George Garrett New Writing Award; was a California and Northern California Book Award finalist, a 2020 Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award Finalist and a Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing finalist; was nominated for the 2020 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize; and was a national bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, won the Crook's Corner Book Prize, and was the recipient of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Zyzzyva, The Paris Review; O, The Oprah Magazine; The New York Times Book Review; and other publications. She lives in Oakland with her family.
About the Moderator
Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. He is the Libby Shearn Moody Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rice University. Laymon is the author of Long Division, which won the NAACP Image Award for fiction, and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on the books, Good God, and City Summer, Country Summer, and a number of other film and television projects. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program aimed at getting Mississippi young people and their parents more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing.