Red at the Bone: A Novel (Hardcover)
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"An exquisite tale of family legacy….The power and poetry of Woodson’s writing conjures up Toni Morrison." – People
"In less than 200 sparsely filled pages, this book manages to encompass issues of class, education, ambition, racial prejudice, sexual desire and orientation, identity, mother-daughter relationships, parenthood and loss….With Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson has indeed risen — even further into the ranks of great literature." – NPR
"A treasure awaits readers who encounter Red at the Bone….A universal American tale of striving, failing, then trying again." – Time
An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.
Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.
As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.
Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.
About the Author
Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books, including the 2016 New York Times–bestselling National Book Award finalist for adult fiction, Another Brooklyn. Among her many accolades, Woodson is a four-time National Book Award finalist, a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a two-time NAACP Image Award Winner, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her New York Times–bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, received the National Book Award in 2014. Woodson is also the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and the recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. In 2015, she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She lives with her family in New York.
Praise for Red at the Bone:
"This poignant tale of choices and their aftermath, history and legacy, will resonate with mothers and daughters." –Tayari Jones, bestselling author of An American Marriage, in O Magazine
"Profoundly moving ... With its abiding interest in the miracle of everyday love, Red at the Bone is a proclamation." —The New York Times Book Review
"Red at the Bone is a narrative steeped in truth...Thank you, Ms. Woodson, for leading me home." —The Washington Post
"Vast emotional depth, rich historical understanding and revelatory pacing ... Woodson draws the profound magic out of the ordinary. She is unmatched in her ability to evoke emotion."—The San Francisco Chronicle
"A remarkable, intergenerational harmony of voices. At its center is hope for both individual and hereditary survival."—USA Today
"Gorgeous, moving…A story of love—romantic and familial—and alienation, grief and triumph, disaster and survival." —Nylon
"Emotionally transfixing.” —Entertainment Weekly
"Red at the Bone breaks down the ways in which parenthood changes people for both better and worse and what it means to find your true identity." —Parade
"Slender miracle of a novel [that] performs a magic trick with time….Woodson skips back and forth between the decades so deftly that it feels like it all happens in a heartbeat." —Family Circle
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