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Morgan Jerkins will be in conversation about her work. In this talk, Jerkins discusses her literary journey, culminating in the release of her newest work, Caul Baby.
Following the critical and popular success of her first two books of nonfiction, New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins returns with her electrifying fiction debut, Caul Baby, a family saga filled with secrets, betrayal, intrigue, and magic.
Desperate to be a mother after multiple pregnancies have ended in heartbreak, Laila turns to the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power. When the deal for Laila to acquire a piece of caul to protect her baby falls through and her child is stillborn, she is overcome with grief and rage and blames the family for the loss.
What she doesn’t know is that she has another connection to the Melancons: her niece, Amara, an ambitious college student, soon secretly delivers a baby girl she names Hallow and gives her to the Melancons to raise as one of their own.
Hallow is special, born with a caul, and the Melancons’ matriarch believes she will restore the family’s waning prosperity. As a child, Hallow is sheltered in the Melancons’ decrepit brownstone, but as she grows up, she starts to become suspicious of the Melancon women, particularly wondering about Josephine, the woman she calls mother, and the matriarch, Maman, who only seems to care about Hallow’s caul.
As the Melancons’ desperation to maintain their status grows, Amara, now a successful lawyer running for district attorney, looks for a way to avenge her longstanding grudge against the family for their crime against her beloved aunt Laila.
When mother and daughter finally cross paths, Hallow must decide where her loyalty lies.
Morgan Jerkins is the author of Wandering in Strange Lands and the New York Times bestseller This Will Be My Undoing and a Senior Culture Editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated. Jerkins is a visiting professor at Columbia University and a Forbes 30 Under 30 leader in media, and her short-form work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Elle, Esquire, and the Guardian, among many other outlets. She is based in Harlem.
Order your copy of Caul Baby from the Ivy Bookshop.
ASL interpretation will be available for attendees.
Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a bequest from The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund.
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The conversation will also be broadcasted on the Enoch Pratt Free Library Facebook page. It can be watched after on Facebook Live.