As the summer winds down, we’re excited for many things: school starting, cooler weather, and the return of our regular book clubs. Nothing’s better than sharing a cool afternoon with friends, food and drink, while talking about that hard-to-put-down book. Well, have we got the prefect book for your club: The Book of Harlan.
Spanning nearly 60 years of the Twentieth Century, this book tells the story of the life of Harlan Elliott, and his journey from Georgia to Harlem to Paris to Buchenwald and back. McFadden beautifully weaves in real historical characters, along with characters inspired by her familial ancestors to create a rich and engaging tale. Fans of historical fiction, coming-of-age stories, alternative history, and inspiring stories will love this book. It’s by far Bernice McFadden’s best book yet. This is a book that will cause you to sit up reading until dawn, and then tell all of your friends about it the next day.
Don’t believe me? Here’s what others have said about it:
“Simply miraculous . . . As her saga becomes ever more spellbinding, so does the reader’s astonishment at the magic she creates. This is a story about the triumph of the human spirit over bigotry, intolerance and cruelty, and at the center of The Book of Harlan is the restorative force that is music.” —The Washington Post, April 25, 2016
“McFadden packs a powerful punch with tight prose and short chapters that bear witness to key events in early twentieth-century history: both World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Great Migration. Partly set in the Jim Crow South, the novel succeeds in showing the prevalence of racism all across the country—whether implemented through institutionalized mechanisms or otherwise. Playing with themes of divine justice and the suffering of the righteous, McFadden presents a remarkably crisp portrait of one average man’s extraordinary bravery in the face of pure evil.” —Booklist, Starred review, April 15, 2015
“Through this character portrait of Harlan, McFadden has constructed a vivid, compelling narrative that makes historical fiction an accessible, literary window into the African-American past and some of the contemporary dilemmas of the present.” —Publishers Weekly, April 11, 2016
Have you met Bernice? You should!
Bernice L. McFadden is the critically acclaimed author of nine novels, including Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), Sugar, Loving Donovan, Nowhere Is a Place, The Warmest December, and Glorious, which was featured in O, the Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She has received awards from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and is a three-time finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, among many other honors. She is currently a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Tulane University in New Orleans, and has an amazing Twitter feed: @queenazsa
Want to meet Bernice IRL?
She’ll be at the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 17th and 18th.
The Fall for the Book in Fairfax, Virginia on September 30th.
See the full event list here: http://www.akashicbooks.com/events-tag/bernice-l-mcfadden/
Are you interested? Then join our contest!
From now through September 30th, post a tweet of your favorite book of 2016. (There’s no wrong answer!)
Make sure you use the hashtag #HarlanBookClub.
The lucky winner will be notified on the 30th!
What you can win:
A set of books for your book club! You won’t have to make that 11th-hour run to your local bookstore, or sit in the hold queue of your library while 8 others read it before you. You’ll win one set of books for each person in your book club (limit of 10 copies).
Also, Bernice will Skype with your club! Have a burning question to ask about the story? Now’s your chance!
So what are you waiting for?! Enter the contest today for a chance for you and your book club to discover what The Washington Post calls “one of the best novels of 2016.”