A multigenerational saga that traverses the Jim Crow South, the glamour of old Hollywood, and the seductive draw of present-day showbiz as secrets split a family tree into Black, white, and something in between
When white silver screen icon Kitty Karr Tate dies and bequeaths her multimillion-dollar estate to the three Black St. John sisters, it prompts questions.
A celebrity in her own right, Elise St. John would rather focus on sorting out Kitty’s affairs than deal with the press. But what she discovers in one of Kitty’s journals rocks her world harder than any other brewing scandal could—and between a cheating fiancé and fallout from a controversial social media post, there are plenty. And if this isn’t enough, her Vogue shoot has been complicated by the arrival of Jasper, a handsome and knowing photographer who may offer the Elise a chance at her most authentic pose yet—if she can defy her publicist, plan Kitty’s memorial, and figure out how she really feels under the harsh gaze of the paparazzi, the public—and her mother. The discovery that her longtime neighbor and mentor was her grandmother, a Black woman who had been passing for white for over sixty years, threatens to expose a web of unexpected family ties, debts owed, and debatable crimes that could, with one pull, unravel the all-American fabric of her sisters and those closest to them.
Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? is a sprawling tale that explores the celebrity machine, the burdens of being Black, the privileges gained by fading to white, and the power that family secrets have to erode and complicate the lives of future generations.