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10/17/2007 - Hunting in Harlem
Hunting in Harlem by
Publication Date: 2003-05-14
Gentrification-by any means necessary. With the help of new employees Cedric, Bobby, and Horus-three ex-cons trying to forge a new life-Lester Baines's Horizon Realty is bringing Harlem back to its renaissance. Fate seems to be working in Lester's favor when Harlem's undesirable tenants begin to get clumsy and meet early deaths by accident. A deadbeat dad electrocutes himself in the bathtub. A drug dealer takes flight from his fire escape. A pimp is shot dead by police when they mistake his wallet for a handgun. That's where Horizon steps in. Block by block, Lester and his crew clear out the rubble and the rabble, filling once dilapidated brownstones with black professionals handpicked for their shared vision of Harlem as a shining icon for the race. Rumors of the Chupacabra, a mythical monster claiming the lives of Harlem's unfortunate, run rampant with Harlem's youth. But it isn't until an ambitious reporter begins to investigate the extraordinarily high accident rate in Harlem that Lester starts to get a little nervous about Horizon's future. For Lester, no cost is too high in protecting Horizon and his vision for restoration. The battle for gentrification and for the souls and very lives of the ex-cons plays out on the streets of Harlem and against a backdrop of beautiful Manhattan brownstones. Mat Johnson has created vividly memorable characters and a story that stands out as one of the most controversial and explosive in years. As sure to ignite debate as it is to entertain, Hunting in Harlem is an old-fashioned page-turner with a fresh and brave voice.
11/14/2007 - Jump at the Sun
Jump at the Sun by
Publication Date: 2006-07-03
In her previous books, celebrated author Kim McLarin skillfully examined issues of race and love. Jump at the Sun is her stunning third novel in which she addresses the same complicated subjects, as well as gender, class, and motherhood. Grace Jefferson is an educated and accomplished modern woman, a child of the Civil Rights dream, and she knows it well. But after a series of rattling personal transitions, she finds herself in a new house in a new city and in a new career for which she feels dangerously unsuited: a stay-at-home mom. Caught between the only two models of mothering she has ever known -- a sharecropping grandmother who abandoned her children to save herself and a mother who sacrificed all to save her kids -- Grace struggles to embrace her new role, hoping to find a middle ground. But as the days pass and the pressures mount, Grace begins to catch herself in small acts of abandonment -- speeding up on neighborhood walks, closing doors with the children on one side and her on the other -- that she fears may foretell a future she is powerless to prevent. Or perhaps it's a future she secretly seeks. Jump at the Sun is a novel about an isolating suburban life and the continuing legacy of slavery, about generational change and the price of living the dream for which our parents fought. Primarily it is a novel about motherhood, and not a sentimental one. As Grace struggles not to damage her children with her own fears and complications, her thoughts stray far from the greeting-card picture often expected of mothers in society today. In her bold and fearless voice McLarin explores both the highs and the lows of being a mother and how breaking the cycle of suffocation and regret is infuriatingly difficult, and absolutely necessary.
12/12/2007 - The Women Who Raised Me : A Memoir
The Women Who Raised Me by
Call Number: B ROWELL R
Publication Date: 2007-04-10
The story of a remarkable woman's rise out of the foster-care system to attain the American dream--and of the unlikely series of women who lifted her up in marvelous and distinctive ways Born as a ward of the state of Maine--the child of an unmarried Yankee blueblood mother and an unknown black father--Victoria Rowell beat the odds. Unlike so many other children who fall through the cracks of our overburdened foster-care system, her experience was nothing short of miraculous, thanks to several extraordinary women who stepped forward to love, nurture, guide, teach, and challenge her to become the accomplished actress, philanthropist, and mother that she is today. Rowell spent her first weeks of life as a boarder infant before being placed with a Caucasian foster family. Although her stay lasted for only two years, at this critical stage Rowell was given a foundation of love by the first of what would be an amazing array of women, each of whom presented herself for different purposes at every dramatic turn of Rowell's life. In this deeply touching memoir, Rowell pays tribute to her personal champions: the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, mentors, teachers, and sisters who each have fascinating stories to tell. Among them are Agatha Armstead, Rowell's longest-term foster mother, a black Bostonian on whose rural Maine farm Rowell's fire to reach for greatness was lit; Esther Brooks, a Paris-trained prima ballerina, Rowell's first mentor at the Cambridge School of Ballet; Rosa Turner, a Boston inner-city fosterer who taught Rowell lessons of independence; Sylvia Silverman, a mother and teacher whose home in a well-kept middle-class suburban neighborhood prepared Rowell for her transition out of foster care and into New York City's wild worlds of ballet and acting and adulthood. In spite of support from individuals and agencies, Rowell nonetheless carried the burden of loneliness and anxiety, common to most foster children, particularly those "orphans of the living" who are never adopted. Heroically overcoming those obstacles, Rowell also reaches a moment when she can embrace her biological mother, Dorothy, and, most important, accept herself. Ultimately, The Women Who Raised Me is a story that belongs to each of us as it shines a glowing light on the transformational power of mentoring, love, art, and womanhood.
1/9/2008 - Babylon Sisters : a novel
Babylon Sisters by
Publication Date: 2005-03-29
Catherine Sanderson seems to have it all: a fulfilling career helping immigrant women find jobs, a lovely home, and a beautiful, intelligent daughter on her way to Smith College. What Catherine doesn’t have: a father for her child– and she’s spent many years dodging her daughter’s questions about it. Now Phoebe is old enough to start poking around on her own. It doesn’t help matters that the mystery man, B.J. Johnson–the only man Catherine has ever loved–doesn’t even know about Phoebe. He’s been living in Africa. Now B.J., a renowned newspaper correspondent, is back in town and needs Catherine’s help cracking a story about a female slavery ring operating right on the streets of Atlanta. Catherine is eager to help B.J., despite her heart’s uncertainty over meeting him again after so long, and confessing the truth to him–and their daughter. Meanwhile, Catherine’s hands are more than full since she’s taken on a new client. Atlanta’s legendary Miss Mandeville–a housekeeper turned tycoon–is eager to have Catherine staff her housekeeping business. But why are the steely Miss Mandeville and her all-too-slick sidekick Sam so interested in Catherine’s connection to B.J.' What transpires is an explosive story that takes her world–not to mention the entire city of Atlanta–by storm. From theNew York Timesbestselling author ofWhat Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day . . .comes another fast-paced and emotionally resonant novel, by turns warm and funny, serious and raw. Pearl Cleage’s ability to create a gripping story centered on strong, spirited black women and the important issues they face remains unrivaled.
3/12/2008 - Fab
Publication Date: 2005-07-19
They are highly educated, professionally focused, sexy, and looking for men to share the best life has to offer. Meet the fearless, funny women of FAB. Bianca left her three best friends in New York to pursue a Hollywood dream job. The weather's great, but the lower salary is making it hard to live the good life. Right when Bianca meets a sexy, sage professor, she starts resorting to fiscally questionable activities to finance her lifestyle. Eventually, hitting rock bottom while wearing the ugliest bridesmaid's dress in history forces Bianca to reevaluate her priorities before her life falls apart. Carolyn's successful advertising career involves selling the idealized female body, and she's obsessed with her own failure to fit that image. Certain that no man will love her as long as she isn't model-thin, she comforts herself with designer shoes, Taco Bell binges, and therapy. When her new intern turns out to be a tall, handsome preppie with a quirky sense of humor, however, Carolyn realizes that if she can't overcome her insecurities, she might miss out on the romance of a lifetime. Taylor, a high-powered attorney at a top New York firm, earns more than enough to support a fabulous lifestyle; she just has no life. After her latest relationship implodes, Taylor decides that immersing herself in her career, with the occasional casual fling, is the best way to get through life heartbreak free. Her plan works--until she realizes that it won't leave any time for her friends, family, or the hot investment banker she's just met. Roxanne's best audition opportunity in the last year has been for the role of a spokeschicken for a fried chicken chain, and she's sick of it.Despite the handsome filmmaker who satisfies her every sexual craving, Roxanne realizes that the constant uphill battle to land meaningful acting jobs is burning her out, and that a month-long California retreat with her surfboarding uncle is exactly what the doctor ordered. From the witty to the wicked, these friends will let you know the score on life and love, and, in the process, make you laugh, cry, and laugh some more.
4/9/2008 - The Full Matilda
The Full Matilda by
Publication Date: 2004-05-11
Matilda Housewright hails from a long line of venerable and well-respected African American retainers--her family has been in "service" for generations, serving Washington, D.C., politicos and other upper-crust families. The daughter of the indispensable majordomo Jacob Housewright, Matilda grew up in the house of a powerful D.C. senator and learned how to be a hostess extraordinaire--and has perfected the art of service. But after her father dies and she starts a catering business with her brother, Matilda begins to question who she is and what, exactly, she's serving. Told in the voices of the men in her life, with connecting interludes from Matilda, the reader indeed gets The Full Matilda, a glorious glimpse inside the intriguing life of a captivating woman in the midst of change as she maneuvers through a web of secrets, expectations, and worn-out social mores.
5/14/2008 - To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird by
Publication Date: 2005-07-05
Voted America's Best-Loved Novel in PBS's The Great American Read Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South--and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father--a crusading local lawyer--risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
6/11/2008 - Infidel
Call Number: B Hirsi Ali
Publication Date: 2007-02-06
In this profoundly affecting memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia to her intellectual awakening in the Netherlands to her life under armed guard in the West.
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