Even when history has been overlooked, ignored, or suppressed, that doesn’t mean it’s hidden. Researching and writing her novels, Kaitlyn Greenidge--author of Libertie and We Love You, Charlie Freeman--“approach[es] Black history from a place of abundance, from the idea that Black people have always been multifaceted, have always been fighting for freedom, and have always been coming up with ingenious ways to combat the world around us.” This week on Book Dreams, Kaitlyn discusses with Eve and Julie how society has emphasized exceptionalism in Black history to the detriment of Black people. She searches in unexpected places, like Black spirituals, for evidence of the inner lives of the unexceptional. She also examines the difference between Black artists being forgotten and their choosing not to be found.
Kaitlyn Greenidge is the recipient of fellowships from The Whiting Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and The Guggenheim Foundation. She's currently the Features Director at Harper's Bazaar as well as a contributing writer for The New York Times. Her writing has also appeared in Vogue, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, Elle, Buzzfeed and The Believer, among many other places. Her debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, was one of The New York Times critic’s “top 10 books of 2016.” Libertie, her second novel, was named “one of the most anticipated books of 2021” by O the Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Rumpus, Book Page, Harper's Bizarre, News Magazine, and more.
Named One of the Most-Anticipated Books of 2021 by:
O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Millions, Refinery29, Publishers Lunch, BuzzFeed, The Rumpus, BookPage, Harper's Bazaar, Ms., Goodreads, and more
“An elegantly layered, beautifully rendered tour de force that is not to be missed.” —Roxane Gay, author of Hunger
“Kaitlyn Greenidge’s historical fiction unites the African diaspora. Libertie is a feat of monumental thematic imagination ... Greenidge both mines history and transcends time, centering her post-Civil-War New York story around an enduring quest for freedom ... The sheer force of Greenidge’s vision for [Libertie], for us all, gives us hope that it won’t be long now.” —Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, The New York Times Book Review
“With Libertie ... Greenidge is making a stylistic leap with an intricately researched and lushly imagined coming-of-age story set in 19th-century Brooklyn and Jacmel, Haiti ... Both epic and intimate.” —Alexandra Alter, The New York Times
“Black Spirituals as Poetry and Resistance,” by Kaitlyn Greenidge for The New York Times
We Love You, Charlie Freeman, by Kaitlyn Greenidge
Libertie, by Kaitlyn Greenidge
Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones (Metropolitan Opera)
Fire Shut Up in My Bones, by Charles Blow
The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
Agnes of God, by John Pielmeier