Memoirs & Biographies




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  • PRE - ORDER: Da Baddest

    By Trina With Sesali Bowen


    PRE - ORDER: On Sale: October 8, 2024 

    The award-winning, platinum selling rapper, songwriter, and television personality shares her unforgettable story of coming of age in Miami, her inevitable rise to stardom, and her enduring legacy as a Hip-Hop Icon.

    Growing up in the Liberty City area of Miami, Florida, Katrina “Trina” Taylor spent her childhood feeling relatively sheltered by her mother and stepfather. Trina and her mother had an unbreakable bond and Liberty City felt like a playground made just for her. And even at a young age, Trina knew what she wanted: to be a powerful, successful, and magnetic woman, a woman who was entirely self-reliant and independent. She dreamed of becoming a dancer, sexy and sparkling in the background of rap music videos she saw being filmed around Liberty City. Little did she know, she’d eventually be the star of the videos, and a founding Queen of rap.

    In Da Baddest, Trina’s voice is, as always, powerful, insightful, witty, and provocative, while also showcasing her vulnerability and deep love for her family, home, and music. This evocative look into Trina’s upbringing and life as a rap icon proves why she is the blueprint, how she helped pave the way for the future of female rappers and hip-hop artists, and why no one but her can hold the title of “The Baddest B*tch.”

  • PRE-ORDER: I Want to Die but I Still Want to Eat Tteokbokki: Further Conversations with My Psychiatrist

    PRE-ORDER: On Sale Date: August 6, 2024

    The sequel to the internationally bestselling South Korean therapy memoir, translated by National Book Award finalist Anton Hur.

    Whenever depression or emptiness came calling, I was all too eager to open the door of self-pity and go right inside.

    Baek Sehee started recording her sessions with her psychiatrist because she hoped to create a guide for herself. She never imagined her reflections would reach so many people, especially young people. I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki became a runaway bestseller in South Korea, then Indonesia, the U.K., and the U.S., drawing readers with its frank and vulnerable discussions of depression and anxiety.

    Healing is an uneven process. In this second book, Baek's sessions intensify as her inner conflicts become more complex and challenging. Through her dialogues with her psychiatrist and reflective micro-essays following each session, Baek traces the patterns of her anguish, makes progress, weathers setbacks, and shares the revelatory insights that come just when she has almost given up hope.

    I Want to Die but I Still Want to Eat Tteokbokki offers itself to the social media generation as a book to hold close, a friend who knows that grappling with everyday despair is part of a lifelong journey.

  • PRE-ORDER: Survival Is a Promise: The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde

    PRE-ORDER: On Sale Date: August 20, 2024

    A bold, innovative biography that offers a new understanding of the life, work, and enduring impact of Audre Lorde.

    We remember Audre Lorde as an iconic writer, a quotable teacher whose words and face grace T-shirts, nonprofit annual reports, and campus diversity-center walls. But even those who are inspired by Lorde’s teachings on “the creative power of difference” may be missing something fundamental about her life and work, and what they can mean for us today.

    Lorde’s understanding of survival was not simply about getting through to the other side of oppression or being resilient in the face of cancer. It was about the total stakes of what it means to be in relationship with a planet in transformation. Possibly the focus on Lorde’s quotable essays, to the neglect of her complex poems, has led us to ignore her deep engagement with the natural world, the planetary dynamics of geology, meteorology, and biology. For her, ecological images are not simply metaphors but rather literal guides to how to be of earth on earth, and how to survive―to live the ethics that a Black feminist lesbian warrior poetics demands.

    In Survival Is a Promise, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, the first researcher to explore the full depths of Lorde’s manuscript archives, illuminates the eternal life of Lorde. Her life and work become more than a sound bite; they become a cosmic force, teaching us the grand contingency of life together on earth.

  • The Women

    A New York Times Notable Book

    Daring and fiercely original, The Women is at once a memoir, a psychological study, a sociopolitical manifesto, and an incisive adventure in literary criticism. It is conceived as a series of portraits analyzing the role that sexual and racial identity played in the lives and work of the writer's subjects: his mother, a self-described "Negress," who would not be defined by the limitations of race and gender; the mother of Malcolm X, whose mixed-race background and eventual descent into madness contributed to her son's misogyny and racism; brilliant, Harvard-educated Dorothy Dean, who rarely identified with other blacks or women, but deeply empathized with white gay men; and the late Owen Dodson, a poet and dramatist who was female-identified and who played an important role in the author's own social and intellectual formation.

    Hilton Als submits both racial and sexual stereotypes to his inimitable scrutiny with relentless humor and sympathy. The results are exhilarating. The Women is that rarest of books: a memorable work of self-investigation that creates a form of all its own.

  • PRE-ORDER: Grant Me Vision: A Journey of Family, Faith, and Forgiveness

    by Sabrina Greenlee


    PRE-ORDER: On Sale Date: July 9, 2024

    Foreword by DeAndre Hopkins

    In this extraordinary memoir—a story of hardship, loss, redemption, faith, and ultimately reclaiming your power—Sabrina Greenlee, the mother of NFL star DeAndre Hopkins, shares her experience growing up Black and poor in South Carolina, how she survived domestic violence and coped with the loss of her sight, and how she continued to remain strong even in the face of despair.

    Sabrina Greenlee has known darkness. Born in South Carolina to Black teenaged parents, Sabrina grew up in a family that lacked the means—financial and emotional—to offer her and her two brothers the safety, comfort, and love every child deserves. Growing up Black and poor in the South, she endured years of sexual and domestic violence and suffered tragedy after tragedy, including the death of her younger brother during a drunk driving accident, and surviving another car accident that claimed the life of her one true love. Coupled with the pain of her childhood, she faced crushing heartbreak, including an abusive relationship that endured for years and later, the loss of her sight in a brutal public attack.

    But the trauma that Sabrina experienced and eventually overcame is what makes her life truly remarkable. After years of tremendous setbacks, Sabrina was able to built herself back up again and achieved the kind of life she always dreamed. She became the loving and dependable mother she wished she’d had, raising four children—including star athletes—who attended college and are successful in their chosen fields. She also found the courage to break the silence that enshrouded her life, ending the generational trauma that had damaged her family for generations.

    Grant Me Vision is her riveting story—a memoir of faith and resilience in the face of life’s most difficult challenges. At its heart, it is a story of claiming your power by making peace with your past and finding the faith to have strength even when the future seems hopeless.

  • A Living Remedy: A Memoir

    by Nicole Chung



    Named a Best Book of the Year by: Time * Harper’s Bazaar * Esquire * Booklist * USA Today * Elle * Good Housekeeping * New York Times * Electric Literature * Today

    From the bestselling author of ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW comes a searing memoir of family, class and grief—a daughter’s search to understand the lives her adoptive parents led, the life she forged as an adult, and the lives she’s lost.

    In this country, unless you attain extraordinary wealth, you will likely be unable to help your loved ones in all the ways you’d hoped. You will learn to live with the specific, hollow guilt of those who leave hardship behind, yet are unable to bring anyone else with them.

    Nicole Chung couldn’t hightail it out of her overwhelmingly white Oregon hometown fast enough. As a scholarship student at a private university on the East Coast, no longer the only Korean she knew, she found community and a path to the life she'd long wanted. But the middle class world she begins to raise a family in – where there are big homes, college funds, nice vacations – looks very different from the middle class world she thought she grew up in, where paychecks have to stretch to the end of the week, health insurance is often lacking, and there are no safety nets.

    When her father dies at only sixty-seven, killed by diabetes and kidney disease, Nicole feels deep grief as well as rage, knowing that years of precarity and lack of access to healthcare contributed to his early death. And then the unthinkable happens – less than a year later, her beloved mother is diagnosed with cancer, and the physical distance between them becomes insurmountable as COVID-19 descends upon the world.

    Exploring the enduring strength of family bonds in the face of hardship and tragedy, A Living Remedy examines what it takes to reconcile the distance between one life, one home, and another – and sheds needed light on some of the most persistent and grievous inequalities in American society.

  • A Crown of Stories: The Life and Language of Beloved Writer Toni Morrison

    by Carole Boston Weatherford


    From award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford comes a captivating picture book biography about the incredible life of esteemed author, editor, and activist Toni Morrison, featuring gorgeous illustrations by debut artist Khalif Tahir Thompson.

    How do you tell a story?

    Before Toni Morrison was a Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Prize–winning author, she was Chloe Ardelia Wofford, a little girl in Ohio who was both the only Black child in her first-grade classroom and the only student who was able to read.

    This is the true story of how that young girl learned from her upbringing, surrounded herself with stories, and made a tremendous impact on the world. Toni Morrison’s pen was her sword, and she grew to be a titan of the arts. Her legacy is one that still touches readers to this day.

    Expertly and evocatively told by award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford, with beautiful painted illustrations by Khalif Tahir Thompson, this is a must-have picture book biography for any collection. It celebrates Toni Morrison’s legacy while inspiring readers to create art, believe in themselves, and strive for greatness.

  • Legitimate Kid Hija legítima (Spanish edition): Una vida entre el dolor y la risa

    by Aida Rodriguez


    Un divertido y conmovedor libro de memorias en ensayo de la comediante Aida Rodríguez sobre el poder de superar las dificultades y transformar el dolor en risa.

    Aida Rodríguez ha vivido, por decir poco, una vida de torbellino. La historia de cómo pasó de la pobreza a la opulencia es alucinante: cuando era niña, su madre la secuestró y se la llevó de la República Dominicana a los Estados Unidos. Más tarde, un nuevo secuestro, esta vez a manos de su abuela y su tío, la dejó en Florida. Ya de adulta, escapó de un matrimonio tormentoso y terminó, junto con sus hijos, mendigando por las calles de Los Ángeles. Durante todas esas adversidades, Aida nunca perdió su sentido del humor.

    Nacida con un maravilloso ingenio y un espíritu irrefrenable, Aida ha utilizado su talento y trabajado sin descanso para convertir la tragedia y el dolor en una comedia mordaz que abarca todo, desde la misoginia y el racismo hasta las redes sociales y los titulares de prensa. Con el tiempo, lanzó un exitoso especial en HOB Max que la llevó a múltiples acuerdos de desarrollo, un logro que le ganó una audiencia nacional, le abrió puertas y la ayudó expandir la forma en que los latinos están representados en la comedia.

    En este, su tan esperado primer libro, Aida dibuja sus muchos altibajos. Desde los contratiempos personales hasta los éxitos profesionales, Hija legítima es entrañable, impactante y, en última instancia, vivificante.  

    A hilarious and heartbreaking memoir-in-essays from comic Aida Rodriguez on the power of overcoming hardship and transforming pain into laughter.

    Aida Rodriguez has, to put it mildly, lived a whirlwind life. Her rags to-riches story is mind-blowing: She was kidnapped as a child by her mother in the Dominican Republic and brought to the US. She was later kidnapped again by her grandmother and uncle, and moved from New York to Florida. As an adult, she ended a difficult marriage and endured homelessness with her children in Los Angeles. But through it all she never lost her sense of humor.

    Born with a wonderful wit and an irrepressible spirit, Aida used her gifts and worked tirelessly, turning tragedy and pain into biting comedy that takes on everything from misogyny and racism to social media and news headlines. She eventually released a hit HBO Max special which led to multiple development deals—success that won her a nationwide audience, opened doors, and helped her expand the way Latinos are represented in comedy.

    In this, her highly anticipated first book, Aida charts her many ups and downs. From personal setbacks to career highs and everything in between, Legitimate Kid is endearing, shocking, and ultimately life-affirming.

  • Dinner on Monster Island: Essays

    by Tania De Rozario


    In this unusual, engaging, and intimate collection of personal essays, Lambda Literary Award finalist Tania De Rozario recalls growing up as a queer, brown, fat girl in Singapore, blending memoir with elements of history, pop culture, horror films, and current events to explore the nature of monsters and what it means to be different.

    Tania De Rozario was just twelve years old when she was gay-exorcised. Convinced that her boyish style and demeanor were a sign of something wicked, her mother and a pair of her church friends tried to “banish the evil” from Tania. That day, the young girl realized that monsters weren’t just found in horror tales. They could lurk anywhere—including your own family and community—and look just like you.

     Dinner on Monster Island is Tania’s memoir of her life and childhood in Singapore—where she discovered how difference is often perceived as deviant, damaged, disobedient, and sometimes, demonic. As she pulls back the veil on life on the small island, she reveals the sometimes kind, sometimes monstrous side of all of us. Intertwined with her experiences is an analysis of the role of women in horror. Tania looks at films and popular culture such as Carrie, The Witch, and The Ring to illuminate the ways in which women are often portrayed as monsters, and how in real life, monsters are not what we think.

     Moving and lyrical, written with earnest candor, and leavened with moments of humor and optimism, Dinner on Monster Island is a deeply personal examination of one woman’s experience grappling with her identity and a fantastic analysis of monsters, monstrous women and the worlds in which they live.

  • PRE-ORDER: The Road Is Good: How a Mother's Strength Became a Daughter's Purpose

    by Uzo Aduba


    PRE-ORDER: On Sale September 17, 2024

    A powerful, timely memoir of Black immigrant identity, the story of an unforgettable matriarch, and a unique coming-of-age story by Nigerian American actress Uzo Aduba. The actress Uzo Aduba came of age grappling with a master juggling act: as one of few Black families in their white Massachusetts suburb, she and her siblings were the unexpected presence in whatever school room or sports team they joined. But Aduba was also rooted by a fierce and nonnegotiable sense of belonging and extraordinary worth that stemmed from her mother’s powerful vision for her children, and their connection to generations of family in Nigeria. The alchemy of being out of place yet driven by fearless conviction powered Aduba to success. The Road Is Good is more than the journey of a young woman determined to survive young adulthood — and to create a workable identity for herself. It is the story of an incredible mother and a testament to matriarchal power. When Aduba’s mother falls ill, the origin of her own power crystallizes and Aduba leaps into a caretaker role, uniquely prepared by the history and tools her mother passed along to become steward of her ancestoral legacy. Deeply mining her family history—gripping anecdotes her mother, aunts, and uncles shared in passing at family celebrations and her own discoveries through countless auditions in New York and her travels to Nigeria—Aduba pieces together a life story imbued with guiding lessons that are both personal and profoundly universal.

  • Accordion Eulogies: A Memoir of Music, Migration, and Mexico

    by Noé Álvarez


    Searching, propulsive, and deeply spiritual, Accordion Eulogies is an odyssey to repair a severed family lineage, told through the surprising history of a musical instrument Growing up in Yakima, Washington, Noé Álvarez never knew his grandfather. Stories swirled around this mythologized, larger-than-life figure: That he had abandoned his family, and had possibly done something awful that put a curse on his descendants. About his grandfather, young Noé was sure of only one thing: That he had played the accordion. Now an adult, reckoning with the legacy of silence surrounding his family’s migration from Mexico, Álvarez resolves both to take up the instrument and to journey into Mexico to discover the grandfather he never knew. Álvarez travels across the US with his accordion, meeting makers and players in cities that range from San Antonio to Boston. He uncovers the story of an instrument that’s been central to classic American genres, but also played a critical role in indigenous Mexican history. Like the accordion itself, Álvarez feels trapped between his roots in Mexico and the U.S. As he tries to make sense of his place in the world—as a father, a son, a musician—he gets closer to uncovering the mystery of his origins.

  • PRE-ORDER: Life Is Not a Straight Line: The Upside of Every Downturn in Business and in Life

    by Ken Chenault


    PRE-ORDER: On Sale April 01, 2025

    The life and times—and values and principles—of Ken Chenault, former CEO of American Express, one of the first African Americans to head a Fortune 500 company Ken Chenault’s life confounds stereotypical presumptions about and expectations for a Black American man. Born in Mineola, New York, to a dentist and a hygienist as the civil rights movement began to gather steam, much of his childhood and early adult years unfolded in a modest middle-class setting during the political and social tumult of the 1960s—the Vietnam War, the struggle for racial equality, the fight for women’s rights, the rise of the counterculture. Though he was partly informed by these inescapable influences, even then, Chenault displayed an independence of thought. Although he was athletically gifted, he chose to become a student of history, rather than pursue sports, in an effort to conquer his lack of discipline. As a student at Bowdoin and Harvard Law, and early in his career at Bain & Company, he was constantly on the lookout for educational and professional opportunities that were rare for Blacks. Intending to use his talents to champion civil rights, he found himself fighting to demolish the seemingly intractable racial barriers in the worlds of finance and business. So began his storied career at American Express, where he became known for his innovations and zealous adherence to company-building values and principles: the promotion of empathy to enlarge our understanding of one another; the willingness to accept complexity and uncertainty in crafting solutions, while refusing to yield to despair; and encouragement of unfettered but responsible creativity.

  • Ain't I an Anthropologist: Zora Neale Hurston Beyond the Literary Icon

    by Jennifer L. Freeman Marshall

    Iconic as a novelist and popular cultural figure, Zora Neale Hurston remains underappreciated as an anthropologist. Is it inevitable that Hurston’s literary authority should eclipse her anthropological authority? If not, what socio-cultural and institutional values and processes shape the different ways we read her work? Jennifer L. Freeman Marshall considers the polar receptions to Hurston’s two areas of achievement by examining the critical response to her work across both fields. Drawing on a wide range of readings, Freeman Marshall explores Hurston’s popular appeal as iconography, her elevation into the literary canon, her concurrent marginalization in anthropology despite her significant contributions, and her place within constructions of Black feminist literary traditions.

    Perceptive and original, Ain’t I an Anthropologist is an overdue reassessment of Zora Neale Hurston’s place in American cultural and intellectual life.

  • Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding

    by Ben Jealous


    A timely and important compilation of first-person accounts by black men—including some famous like Russell Simmons, Rev. Al Sharpton, John Legend, along with community leaders known primarily in their respective neighborhoods—this New York Times bestseller describes a defining moment in each of these black men’s lives which motivated them to give back.

    Reach includes forty first-person accounts from well-known men like the Rev. Al Sharpton, John Legend, Isiah Thomas, Bill T. Jones, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Talib Kweli, alongside influential community organizers, businessmen, religious leaders, philanthropists, and educators. These remarkable individuals are living proof that black men are as committed as ever to ensuring a better world for themselves and for others.

    Powerful and indispensable to our ongoing cultural dialogue, Reach explodes myths about black men by providing rare, candid, and deeply personal insights into their lives. It’s a blueprint for better community engagement. It’s an essential resource for communities everywhere.

    Proceeds from the sale of Reach will go to BMe Community, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building caring and prosperous communities inspired by black men. Reach is also a Project of the Kapor Center for Social Impact, one of the founding supporters of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

  • Bless the Blood: A Cancer Memoir

    by Walela Nehanda


    A searing debut YA poetry and essay collection about a Black cancer patient who faces medical racism after being diagnosed with leukemia in their early twenties, for fans of Audre Lorde's The Cancer Journals and Laurie Halse Anderson's Shout. When Walela is diagnosed at twenty-three with advanced stage blood cancer, they're suddenly thrust into the unsympathetic world of tubes and pills, doctors who don’t use their correct pronouns, and hordes of "well-meaning" but patronizing people offering unsolicited advice as they navigate rocky personal relationships and share their story online. But this experience also deepens their relationship to their ancestors, providing added support from another realm. Walela's diagnosis becomes a catalyst for their self-realization. As they fill out forms in the insurance office in downtown Los Angeles or travel to therapy in wealthier neighborhoods, they begin to understand that cancer is where all forms of their oppression intersect: Disabled. Fat. Black. Queer. Nonbinary. In Bless the Blood: A Cancer Memoir, the author details a galvanizing account of their survival despite the U.S. medical system, and of the struggle to face death unafraid.

  • What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life

    by Billy Dee Williams


    A film legend recalls his remarkable life of nearly eight decades—a heralded actor who's played the roles he wanted, from Brian’s Song to Lando in the Star Wars universe—unchecked by the racism and typecasting so rife in the mostly all-white industry in which he triumphed. “The story of a legend, written by the legend himself! Impressive, inspiring, entertaining and endearing.” —J. J. Abrams Billy Dee Williams was born in Harlem in 1937 and grew up in a household of love and sophistication. As a young boy, he made his stage debut working with Lotte Lenya in an Ira Gershwin/Kurt Weill production where Williams ended up feeding Lenya her lines. He studied painting, first at the High School of Music and Art, with fellow student Diahann Carroll, and then at the National Academy of Fine Art, before setting out to pursue acting with Herbert Berghoff, Stella Adler, and Sidney Poitier. His first film role was in The Last Angry Man, the great Paul Muni’s final film. It was Muni who gave Billy the advice that sent him soaring as an actor, “You can play any character you want to play no matter who you are, no matter the way you look or the color of your skin.” And Williams writes, “I wanted to be anyone I wanted to be.” He writes of landing the role of a lifetime: co-starring alongside James Caan in Brian’s Song, the made-for-television movie that was watched by an audience of more than fifty million people. Williams says it was “the kind of interracial love story America needed.” And when, as the first Black character in the Star Wars universe, he became a true pop culture icon, playing Lando Calrissian in George Lucas’s The Empire Strikes Back (“What I presented on the screen people didn’t expect to see”). It was a role he reprised in the final film of the original trilogy, The Return of the Jedi, and in the recent sequel The Rise of Skywalker. A legendary actor, in his own words, on all that has sustained and carried him through a lifetime of dreams and adventure.

  • Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday's Last Year

    by Paul Alexander


    A revelatory look at the tumultuous life of a jazz legend and American cultural icon In the first biography of Billie Holiday in more than two decades, Paul Alexander—author of heralded lives of Sylvia Plath and J. D. Salinger—gives us an unconventional portrait of arguably America’s most eminent jazz singer. He shrewdly focuses on the last year of her life—with relevant flashbacks to provide context—to evoke and examine the persistent magnificence of Holiday’s artistry when it was supposed to have declined, in the wake of her drug abuse, relationships with violent men, and run-ins with the law. During her lifetime and after her death, Billie Holiday was often depicted as a down-on-her-luck junkie severely lacking in self-esteem. Relying on interviews with people who knew her, and new material unearthed in private collections and institutional archives, Bitter Crop—a reference to the last two words of Strange Fruit, her moving song about lynching—limns Holiday as a powerful, ambitious woman who overcame her flaws to triumph as a vital figure of American popular music.

  • Facing the Unseen: The Struggle to Center Mental Health in Medicine

    by Damon Tweedy M.D.


    From the New York Times bestselling author of Black Man in a White Coat comes a powerful and urgent call to center psychiatry and mental health care into the mainstream of medicine As much as we all might wish that mental health problems, with their elusive causes and unsettling behaviors, simply did not exist, millions of people suffer from them, sometimes to an extreme extent. Many others face addiction to alcohol and other drugs, as overdose and suicide deaths abound. Yet the vast majority of doctors receive minimal instruction in treating these conditions during their lengthy medical training. This mismatch ignores the clear overlap between physical and mental distress, and too-often puts psychiatrists on the outside looking in as the medical system continues to fail many patients. In Facing The Unseen, bestselling author, professor of psychiatry, and practicing physician Damon Tweedy guides us through his days working in outpatient clinics, emergency rooms, and hospitals as he meets people from all walks of life who are grappling with physical and psychological illnesses. In powerful, compassionate, and eloquent prose, Tweedy argues for a more comprehensive and integrated approach where people with mental illness have a health care system that places their full well-being front and center.

  • Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against “the Apocalypse”

    Award-winning author and critic Emily Raboteau crafts a powerfully moving meditation on race, climate, environmental justice―and what it takes to find shelter. Lessons for Survival is a probing series of pilgrimages from the perspective of a mother struggling to raise her children to thrive without coming undone in an era of turbulent intersecting crises. With camera in hand, Raboteau goes in search of birds, fluttering in the air or painted on buildings, and city parks where her children may safely play while avoiding pollution, pandemics, and the police. She ventures abroad to learn from Indigenous peoples, and in her own family and community, she discovers the most intimate examples of resilience. Raboteau bears witness to the inner life of Black womanhood, motherhood, the brutalities and possibilities of cities, while celebrating the beauty and fragility of nature. This innovative work of reportage and autobiography stitches together multiple stories of protection, offering a profound sense of hope.

  • Coretta: The Autobiography of Mrs. Coretta Scott King

    by Coretta Scott King


    Celebrate the life of the extraordinary civil and human rights activist Coretta Scott King with this picture book adaptation of her critically acclaimed adult memoir.

    This is the autobiography of Coretta Scott King—the founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), the wife of Martin Luther King Jr., and a singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist. Learn about how a girl born in the segregated Deep South became a global leader at the forefront of the peace movement and an unforgettable champion of social change. Resilience, bravery, and joy lie at the center of this timeless story about fighting for justice against all odds.

  • Slow Noodles: A Cambodian Memoir of Love, Loss, and Family Recipes

    by Chantha Nguon & Kim Green


    A haunting and beautiful memoir from a Cambodian refugee who lost her country and her family during Pol Pot's genocide in the 1970s but who finds hope by reclaiming the recipes she tasted in her mother's kitchen. 

    Take a well-fed nine-year-old with a big family and a fancy education. Fold in 2 revolutions, 2 civil wars, and one wholesale extermination. Subtract a reliable source of food, life savings, and family members, until all are gone. Shave down childhood dreams for approximately two decades, until only subsistence remains.
    In Slow Noodles, Chantha Nguon recounts her life as a Cambodia refugee who lost everything and everyone—her house, her country, her parents, her siblings, her friends—everything but the memories of her mother’s kitchen, the tastes and aromas of the foods her mother made before the dictator Pol Pot tore her country apart in the 1970s, killing millions of her compatriots. Nguon’s irrepressible spirit and determination come through in this emotional and poignant but also lyrical and magical memoir that includes over 20 recipes for Khmer dishes like chicken lime soup, banh sung noodles, pâté de foie, curries, spring rolls, and stir-fries. For Nguon, recreating these dishes becomes an act of resistance, of reclaiming her place in the world, of upholding the values the Khmer Rouge sought to destroy, and of honoring the memory of her beloved mother.

    From her idyllic early years in Battambang to hiding as a young girl in Phnom Penh as the country purges ethnic Vietnamese like Nguon and her family, from her escape to Saigon to the deaths of mother and sister there, from the poverty and devastation she experiences in a war-ravaged Vietnam to her decision to flee the country. We follow Chantha on a harrowing river crossing into Thailand—part of the exodus that gave rise to the name “boat people”—and her decades in a refugee camp there, until finally, denied passage to the West, she returns to a forever changed Cambodia. Nguon survives by cooking in a brothel, serving drinks in a nightclub, making and selling street food, becoming a suture-nurse treating refugees abused by Thai authorities, and weaving silk. Through it all, Nguon relies on her mother’s “slow noodles” approach to healing and to cooking, one that prioritizes time and care over expediency. Haunting and evocative, Slow Noodles is a testament to the power of culinary heritage to spark the rebirth of a young woman’s hopes for a beautiful life.  

    “I’ve never read a book that made me weep, wince, laugh out loud, and rejoice like Slow Noodles. In Chantha Nguon’s harrowing, wise, and fiercely feminist memoir, cooking is a language—of love, remembrance, and rebellion—and stories are nourishment."  
    —Maggie Smith, New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful

  • We Go High: How 30 Women of Colour Achieved Greatness against all Odds

    by Nicole Ellis

    Follow the life lessons of 30 remarkable women of color who are making their mark on society and culture.

    "When you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something ... and that is the power of hope." -Michelle Obama (White House speech, 2017)

    We Go High brings together the inspiring stories, motivational quotes, and personal philosophies of 30 influential women of color who have sought to overcome challenges in their lives.

    From activists to scientists, artists to sporting icons, each woman's story is different-but all have in common a deep-seated resilience to fight against the prejudices and barriers to success that women of color face on a daily basis. The book features political powerhouses such as Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams, as well as businesswomen like Arundhati Bhattacharya and Angelica Ross, and writers Michaela Coel and Amanda Gorman.

    With 30 stunning, specially commissioned portraits, We Go High not only celebrates these remarkable women's achievements, but uncovers the personal beliefs, attitudes, and determination that drive them.
  • In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court

    by Brittney Griner with Sue Hovey


    The Phoenix Mercury star—the world’s most famous female basketball player—shares her coming-of-age story, revealing how she found the strength to overcome bullies and to embrace her authentic self

    “[A] searing and ultimately liberating memoir” —New York Times Book Review

    At six foot eight with an eighty-eight-inch wingspan and a size 17 men’s shoe, the Phoenix Mercury star and three-time All-American Brittney Griner has been shattering stereotypes and breaking boundaries ever since she burst onto the national scene as a dunking high school phenom. But the sport’s “most transformative figure” (Sports Illustrated) is equally famous for making headlines off the court, for speaking out on issues of gender, sexuality, body image, and self-esteem.

    In this heartfelt memoir, Brittney reflects on painful episodes in her life, as well as the highs. She describes how she came to celebrate what makes her unique—inspiring lessons she now shares with readers. Filled with all the humor and personality that Brittney Griner has become known for, In My Skin is more than a glimpse into one of the most original people in sports; it’s a powerful call to readers to be true to themselves, to love who they are on the inside and out.

  • A Long Way from Home

    by Claude McKay

  • A Long Time Coming: A Lyrical Biography of Race in America from Ona Judge to Barack Obama

    by Ray Anthony Shepard


    This YA biography-in-verse of six important Black Americans from different eras, including Ona Judge, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama, chronicles the diverse ways each fought racism and shows how much—and how little—has changed for Black Americans since our country’s founding.

    Drawing on extensive research and numerous primary sources, Ray Anthony Shepard’s A Long Time Coming tells the story of racism in the United States, revealing that racial justice has been, and still is, a long time coming. Shepard shows the ways in which each paved the way for those who followed. From freedom seeker Ona Judge, who fled her enslavement by America’s first president, to Barack Obama, the first Black president, all of Shepard’s protagonists fight valiantly for justice for themselves and all Black Americans in any way that they can. Full of daring escapes, deep emotion, and subtle lessons on how racism operates, this book reveals the universal importance of its subjects’ struggles for justice. But it is also a highly personal book, as Shepard — whose maternal grandfather was enslaved — shows how the grand sweep of history has touched his life, reflecting on how much progress has been made against racism, while also exhorting readers to complete the vast work that remains to be done.

  • Brothers in the Beloved Community: The Friendship of Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Marc Andrus

    The never-before-told story of the friendship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh—icons who changed each other and the world

    The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a heartbroken letter to their mutual friend Raphael Gould. He said: "I did not sleep last night. . . . They killed Martin Luther King. They killed us. I am afraid the root of violence is so deep in the heart and mind and manner of this society. They killed him. They killed my hope. I do not know what to say. . . . He made so great an impression in me. This morning I have the impression that I cannot bear the loss." 
    Only a few years earlier, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote an open letter to Martin Luther King Jr. as part of his effort to raise awareness and bring peace in Vietnam. There was an unexpected outcome of Nhat Hanh's letter to King: The two men met in 1966 and 1967 and became not only allies in the peace movement, but friends. This friendship between two prophetic figures from different religions and cultures, from countries at war with one another, reached a great depth in a short period of time. Dr. King nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He wrote: "Thich Nhat Hanh is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity."

    The two men bonded over a vision of the Beloved Community: a vision described recently by Congressman John Lewis as "a nation and world society at peace with itself." It was a concept each knew of because of their membership within the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an international peace organization, and that Martin Luther King Jr. had been popularizing through his work for some time. Thich Nhat Hanh, Andrus shows, took the lineage of the Beloved Community from King and carried it on after his death. 

    In Brothers in the Beloved Community, Marc Andrus tells the little-known story of a friendship between two giants of our time.
  • Dear Cis(gender) People: A Guide to Allyship and Empathy

    by Kenny Ethan Jones


    A powerful call to arms to empower cisgender people to be better allies, blending memoir, detailed research, and interviews.

    The trans experience is all too often the subject of fierce debate in the media and online. While we’re having more and more conversations about the trans experience, the stark reality is that hate crimes against the trans community have quadrupled over the past five years and that two in five trans young people have attempted suicide.  

    But behind the shock headlines and the distressing statistics, what does it really mean to be trans?

    In this powerful, extensively researched, and deeply personal book, Kenny Ethan Jones, a trans activist and writer, offers an authentic and in-depth insight into the trans experience. From gender dysphoria to surgery, from being outed to finding love and considering parenthood, Kenny Ethan Jones draws on his own life and the stories of others from the trans and nonbinary communities to create discussion around the complexities and reality of the trans experiences in today’s society.

    Dear Cis(Gender) People is a powerful call to arms, equipping people of every gender with the tools to step forward as allies in order to bring about meaningful change. Through acting and speaking out, we can create a safer, fairer world for trans people—a world in which all of us can exist as our most authentic selves and celebrate who we are without fear.

  • Zora Neale Hurston: A Biography of the Spirit

    Deborah G. Plant (Author)

    While most biographies of Hurston take a standard approach to revealing the facts and details of her life, this is the first to look at the role spirituality played in her life and letters. Throughout her fiction, nonfiction, political and social activity, Hurston's spirit shines through, animating all areas of her life. To ignore it is to paint an incomplete picture of a life that carries on through the works she left behind. Plant shows here that Hurston's spirituality helped her to endure the challenges in her life, including chronic ill health, personal and professional setbacks, financial difficulties, and other obstacles that might have crushed a less resilient soul. In revealing this often overlooked area of Hurston's life, Plant offers a more complete biography of this eminent woman of letters.
  • Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance

    by Francesca Royster


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    A brilliant literary memoir of chosen family and chosen heritage, told against the backdrop of Chicago’s North and South Sides

    As a multiracial household in Chicago’s North Side community of Rogers Park, race is at the core of Francesca T. Royster and her family's world, influencing everyday acts of parenting and the conception of what family truly means. Like Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, this lyrical and affecting memoir focuses on a unit of three: the author; her wife Annie, who's white; and Cecilia, the Black daughter they adopt as a couple in their forties and fifties. Choosing Family chronicles this journey to motherhood while examining the messiness and complexity of adoption and parenthood from a Black, queer, and feminist perspective. Royster also explores her memories of the matriarchs of her childhood and the homes these women created in Chicago’s South Side—itself a dynamic character in the memoir—where “family” was fluid, inclusive, and not necessarily defined by marriage or other socially recognized contracts.

    Calling upon the work of some of her favorite queer thinkers, including José Esteban Muñoz and Audre Lorde, Royster interweaves her experiences and memories with queer and gender theory to argue that many Black families, certainly her own, have historically had a “queer” attitude toward family: configurations that sit outside the white normative experience and are the richer for their flexibility and generosity of spirit. A powerful, genre-bending memoir of family, identity, and acceptance, Choosing Family, ultimately, is about joy—about claiming the joy that society did not intend to assign to you, or to those like you.

  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

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    The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.

    In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore. 

    Wes just couldn’t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?

    That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that have lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had had a life not unlike his own: Both had had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they’d hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.

    Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

  • Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe

    by Aomawa Shields, PhD


    A stunning and inspiring memoir charting a life as an astronomer, classically-trained actor, mother, and Black woman in STEM, searching for life in the universe while building a meaningful life here on Earth

    As a kid, Aomawa Shields was always bumping into things, her neck craned up at the sky, dreaming of becoming an astronaut. A year into an astrophysics PhD program, plagued by self-doubt and discouraged by a white male professor who suggested that she—a young Black woman who also loved fashion, makeup, and the arts—didn’t belong, she left astronomy and pursued acting professionally for a decade, before a day job working for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope drew her back to the stars. She was the oldest and the only Black student in her PhD cohort. This time, no professor, and no voice in her own head, would stop her. Now an astronomer and astrobiologist at the top of her field, Dr. Shields studies the universe outside our Solar System, researching and uncovering the planets circling distant stars with just the right conditions that could support life—while also using her theater education to communicate the wonder and magic of the universe with those of us here on Earth. But it’s been a journey as winding and complex as the physics she has mastered.

    Life on Other Planets is a journey of discovery on this world and on others, a story of creating a life that makes space for joy, love, and wonder while being driven by one of our biggest questions: Is anybody else out there? It is about the possibility of living between multiple worlds and not choosing—but instead charting a new path entirely.

  • Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto

    by Clarkisha Kent


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    In this disarming and candid memoir, cultural critic Clarkisha Kent unpacks the kind of compounded problems you face when you’re a fat, Black, queer woman in a society obsessed with heteronormativity.

    There was no easy way for Kent to navigate personal discovery and self-love. As a dark-skinned, first-generation American facing a myriad of mental health issues and intergenerational trauma, at times Kent’s body felt like a cosmic punishment. In the face of body dysmorphia, homophobia, anti-Blackness, and respectability politics, the pursuit of “high self-esteem” seemed oxymoronic. 

    Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto is a humorous, at times tragic, memoir that follows Kent on her journey to realizing that her body is a gift to be grown into, that sometimes family doesn’t always mean home, and how even ill-fated bisexual romances could free her from gender essentialism. Perfect for readers of Keah Brown’s The Pretty One, Alida Nugent’s You Don’t Have to Like Me, and Stephanie Yeboah’s Fattily Ever After, Kent’s debut explores her own lived experiences to illuminate how fatphobia intertwines with other oppressions. It stresses the importance of addressing the violence scored upon our minds and our bodies, and how we might begin the difficult—but joyful—work of setting ourselves free.

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