Please join us on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 PM Pacific Time as we welcome author Jamila Minnicks for a conversation about her new novel, MOONRISE OVER NEW JESSUP. Deesha Philyaw, author of the award-winning THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES, will be in conversation with Jamila Minnicks.
This event will be in person at the store at 6120 La Salle Ave., Oakland, CA 94611.
January 2023 Indie Next List
“An absolutely breathtaking debut that celebrates Blackness in all of its triumphs. Both an in-depth exploration of all-Black towns and a love story all the same, Jamila Minnicks has written a stunning and poignant modern classic.”
— Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC
"My favorite novels light up my brain with things I hadn’t considered before – and this one does exactly that. The deep complexity of the American Civil Rights movement; the various, sometimes opposing approaches of its leaders to desegregation; the gains and inevitable casualties that social progress can claim. With compelling characters and a heart-pounding plot, Jamila Minnicks pulled me into pages of history I’d never turned before."―Barbara Kingsolver, New York Times bestselling author of Demon Copperhead
Winner of the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, an enchanting and thought-provoking debut novel about a Black woman doing whatever it takes to protect all she loves on Alabama soil during the Civil Rights Movement.
It’s 1957, and after leaving the only home she has ever known, Alice Young steps off the bus into all-Black New Jessup, where residents have largely rejected integration as the means for Black social advancement. Instead, they seek to maintain, and fortify, the community they cherish on their “side of the woods.” In this place, Alice falls in love with Raymond Campbell, whose clandestine organizing activities challenge New Jessup’s longstanding status quo and could lead to the young couple’s expulsion—or worse—from the home they both hold dear. As they marry and raise children together, Alice must find a way to balance her undying support for his underground work with her desire to protect New Jessup from the rising pressure of upheaval from inside, and outside, their side of town.
Based on the history of the many Black towns and settlements established across the country, Jamila Minnicks's heartfelt and riveting debut is both a celebration of Black joy and a timely examination of the opposing viewpoints that attended desegregation in America.
About Jamila Minnicks
Jamila Minnicks’ novel Moonrise Over New Jessup (Algonquin Books, 2023), won the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Her short fiction and essays are published, or forthcoming, in The Sun, CRAFT, Catapult, Blackbird, The Write Launch, and elsewhere, and her piece, Politics of Distraction, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Jamila’s work has been supported by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Jamila is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the Howard University School of Law, and the Georgetown University Law Center. She lives in Washington, DC, but is at home in Alabama.
About Deeshaw Philyaw
Deesha Philyaw’s writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, McSweeney’s, the Rumpus, Brevity, TueNight, and elsewhere. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, she currently lives in Pittsburgh with her daughters.