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!
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- 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
- We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin | Amazon | Bookshop.org [26:08]
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot | Amazon | Bookshop.org [29:06]
Two NEW Books She Loves
- The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers | Amazon | Bookshop.org [32:00]
- Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian | Amazon | Bookshop.org [35:58]
One Book She DIDN’T LOVE
One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
Last 5-Star Book Dolen Read
Other Books Mentioned
- Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez [1:02]
- Balm by Dolen Perkins-Valdez [1:02]
- Black No More by George S. Schuyler [28:19]
- Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora by Sheree Renée Thomas (ed.), with short story “Sister Lilith” by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers [32:23]
- The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers [33:31]
- The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois [33:39]
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway [41:05]
- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn [42:40]
About Dolen Perkins-Valdez
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.
In two weeks (May 18), Susie Boutry from Novel Visits will be joining me for our annual Summer Reading Special.
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