The Writer’s Center welcomes author Kim Coleman Foote for a reading and discussion of her highly praised debut novel, Coleman Hill. Kim is in conversation with novelist Marita Golden. Book signing and reception to follow. Book sales provided by Loyalty Bookstores.
Free and open to the public, limited space, registration required below.
Kim Coleman Foote was born and raised in New Jersey, where she started writing fiction at the age of seven(ish). A recent fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she has received additional fellowships from the NEA, NYFA, Bread Loaf, Phillips Exeter Academy, Center for Fiction, and Fulbright, and residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, and Hedgebrook, among others. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2022, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, the Missouri Review, The Literary Review, Kweli, and Obsidian. Coleman Hill is her first book.
Marita Golden is an award-winning author of over twenty works of fiction and nonfiction. Her books include the novels The Wide Circumference of Love, and After and the memoirs Migrations of the Heart, Saving Our Sons and Don’t Play in the Sun One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex Her most recent work of nonfiction is The New Black Woman Loves Herself Has Boundaries Heals Every Day a sequel to her book The Strong Black Woman How a Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women. She is the recipient of many awards including the Writers for Writers Award presented by Barnes & Noble and Poets and Writers, an award from the Authors Guild, and the Fiction Award for her novel After awarded by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She has lectured and read from her work internationally. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, been featured as an answer of Jeopardy, and is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee. She has been frequently interviewed on NPR.
Co-founder and President Emerita of the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Foundation, Marita Golden is a veteran teacher of writing. She taught at the University of Lagos, in Nigeria and has served as a member of the faculties of the MFA Graduate Creative Writing Programs at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University and in the MA Creative Writing Program at John Hopkins University. She has served as Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of the District of Columbia. As a literary consultant, she offers writing workshops, coaching, and manuscript evaluation services.
About the Book
“Once in a while, a writer comes along with a brilliance that stops the breath. Kim Coleman Foote is that writer.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award–winning author of Red at the Bone
“A masterpiece. Brilliant, vivid, heartbreaking, epic, beautiful, raw and true . . . This is the American story.” ―Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less Is Lost
“Kim Coleman Foote has the rare talent of completely immersing you in time and place . . . A sweeping yet intimate family saga.” —Sarah Jessica Parker
Coleman Hill is the exhilarating story of two American families whose fates become intertwined in the wake of the Great Migration. Braiding fact and fiction, it is a remarkable, character-rich tour de force exploring the ties that bind three generations.
In 1916, during the early days of the Great Migration, Celia Coleman and Lucy Grimes flee the racism and poverty of their homes in the post–Civil War South for the “Promised Land” of Vauxhall, New Jersey. But the North possesses its own challenges and bigotries that will shape the fates of the women and their families over the next seventy years. Told through the voices of nine family members—their perspectives at once harmonious and contradictory—Coleman Hill is a penetrating multigenerational debut.
Within ten years of arriving in Vauxhall, both Celia and Lucy’s husbands are dead, and they turn to one another for support in raising their children far from home. Lucy’s gentleness sets Celia at ease, and Celia lends Lucy her fire when her friend wants to cower. Encouraged by their mothers’ friendship, their children’s lives become enmeshed as well. As the children grow into adolescence, two are caught in an impulsive act of impropriety, and Celia and Lucy find themselves at irreconcilable odds over who’s to blame. The ensuing fallout has dire consequences that reverberate through the next two generations of their families.
A stunning biomythography—a word coined by the late great writer Audre Lorde—Coleman Hill draws from the author’s own family legend, historical record, and fervent imagination to create an unforgettable new history. The result is a kaleidoscopic novel whose intergenerational arc emerges through a series of miniatures that contain worlds.
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