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Virtual Event – Maud Newton
April 5, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Magic City Books is proud to present an exclusive virtual event with Maude Newton and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers on Tuesday April 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm CT.
Maud Newton is the author of the new book, Ancestor Trouble, a search for the truth about her wildly unconventional Southern family. Ultimately, she finds that our obsession with ancestors opens up new ways of seeing ourselves.
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is an advisory board member of the Tulsa Literary Coalition and her novel, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut novel, longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction, shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and was a nominee for the NAACP Image Award among many other accolades.
This free event will be hosted on the Zoom platform and Facebook Live. To register in advance for the event on Zoom, visit: https://magiccitybooks.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LOVY52Z_SWGM7vLXW2G63Q.
After you register you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to join the event.
Ancestor Trouble by Maud Newton will be published by Random House on March 29, 2022. You can pre-order a copy at Magic City Books or online here, https://magiccitybooks.square.site/product/ancestor-trouble/707.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is available now at Magic City Books or online here, https://magiccitybooks.square.site/product/the-love-songs-of-w-e-b-du-bois/710.
About Ancestor Trouble
Maud Newton’s ancestors have vexed and fascinated her since she was a girl. Her mother’s father, who came of age in Texas during the Great Depression, was said to have married thirteen times and been shot by one of his wives. Her mother’s grandfather killed a man with a hay hook and died in an institution. Mental illness and religious fanaticism percolated through Maud’s maternal lines back to an ancestor accused of being a witch in Puritan-era Massachusetts. Maud’s father, an aerospace engineer turned lawyer, was an educated man who extolled the virtues of slavery and obsessed over the “purity” of his family bloodline, which he traced back to the Revolutionary War. He tried in vain to control Maud’s mother, a whirlwind of charisma and passion given to feverish projects: thirty rescue cats, and a church in the family’s living room where she performed exorcisms.
Their divorce, when it came, was a relief. Still, the meeting of her parents’ lines in Maud inspired an anxiety that she could not shake, a fear that she would replicate their damage. She saw similar anxieties in the lives of friends, in the works of writers and artists she admired. As obsessive in her own way as her parents, Maud researched her genealogy–her grandfather’s marriages, the accused witch, her ancestors’ roles in slavery and genocide–and sought family secrets through her DNA. But immersed in census archives and cousin matches, she yearned for deeper truths. Her journey took her into the realms of genetics, epigenetics, and the debates over intergenerational trauma. She mulled over modernity’s dismissal of ancestors along with psychoanalytic and spiritual traditions that center them.
Searching, moving, and inspiring, Ancestor Trouble is one writer’s attempt to use genealogy–a once-niche hobby that has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry–to expose the secrets and contradictions of her own ancestors, and to argue for the transformational possibilities that reckoning with our ancestors offers all of us.
Maud Newton has written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, The New York Times Book Review, and Oxford American. She grew up in Miami and graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in English and law.
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a fiction writer, poet, and essayist. She is the author of five poetry collections, including the 2020 collection The Age of Phillis, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award, the George Washington Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She was a contributor to The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward, and has been published in the Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, and other literary publications. Jeffers was elected into the American Antiquarian Society, whose members include fourteen U.S. presidents, and is Critic at Large for Kenyon Review. She teaches creative writing and literature at University of Oklahoma. The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois is her first novel and was a New York Times bestseller, longlisted for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Fiction, longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and an Oprah Book Club Pick.