Podcast Episode 111: Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Author of Take My Hand)

dolen perkins-valdez take my hand

In Episode 111, Dolen Perkins-Valdez (author of Take My Hand) shares details about the real-life events that inspired the book about a tragic story and historical landmark in the battle for women’s rights. Dolen also talks about her research methods and a couple of key themes from the book. Take My Hand was a 5-star book for me and will be one of my favorite books of 2022!

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).


  • What compelled Dolen to write this book, based on the true story of the Relf sisters.
  • How Dolen shaped this real-life story into fiction and the liberties she allowed for her novel.
  • Dolen’s research process and a bit of the behind the scenes of crafting the book.
  • The theme of governmental coercion and exploitation of poor people.
  • Dolen’s favorite genre of fiction as a reader.
  • How Dolen first resisted defining herself as a Historical Fiction writer.
  • The secret genre Dolen would like to explore one day.

Dolen’s Book Recommendations [24:31]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5-Star Book Dolen Read

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the New York Times bestselling author of Wench and Balm. She was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for fiction, and she was awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Dolen is the current Chair of the Board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. On behalf of the foundation, she has visited nearly every public high school in the District of Columbia to talk about the importance of reading and writing.   She is currently Associate Professor in the Literature Department at American University and lives in Washington, DC with her family.

Next Episode

In two weeks (May 18), Susie Boutry from Novel Visits will be joining me for our annual Summer Reading Special.

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