Forthcoming Fall/Winter Titles

Lithub has published their previews for their most anticipated titles for the Fall of 2019 (Adult non-fiction), and so I figured I’d highlight a few of these and offer up some similar titles while we wait for them to be added to our catalogue. All of these titles are on order, even if they have not yet made their way onto the online catalogue, so give it a little bit of time and you will be able to put a hold on it soon! (The exception here is Highway of Tears, which is on the online catalogue so you can put a hold on it already.) Here are a few that caught my eye from all their different lists ranging from Science, Technology, History, Biography, Social Science, Politics, Essay Collections, and Memoir (everything on the Science list sounds A+, especially The Hidden World of the Fox, release date Oct 22):

Cover of book White Negroes by Lauren Michele JacksonWhite Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson (Beacon Press, Nov 12). My anticipation for this title should come as no surprise if you’ve read any of my previous posts before, but I’m also incredibly interested in this upcoming title because of a fairly recent (beginning of 2019) rupture in the knitting & textiles world when a well known blogger, Karen Templer, wrote a blog post that caused a conversation about race, racism, and representation in the knitting world at large to erupt. This has led to a subsequent apology post, but also to a number of other knitters and crafters speaking up about their experiences and offering up advice for how to be a good ally to BIPOC crafters. One of the posts that has come up, which I’m sure White Negroes on the topic of cultural appropriation will help me to think more critically about, was this one: An Open Letter to White Makers & Designers Who Are Inspired By the Kimono and Japanese Culture by Emi Ito (guest post on Ysolda Teague’s blog). For more on cultural appropriation & more forthcoming titles, see below the cut!

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The Gilded Years by Karen Tanab

cover from The Gilded Years by Karen Tanab

Based on the real life of Anita Hemmings, The Gilded Years is a fictionalized account of the first African-American woman to graduate from the prestigious Vassar College in 1897 (Vassar did not openly admit African-American students until the 1940s). Anita was able to do this because she was light skinned enough to pass as white and she kept this secret for three years. But during her senior year she fell in love with a Harvard student and her roommate became attracted to Anita’s equally fair skinned brother, both situations which would jeopardize everything she had accomplished so far.

She had the typical student experience, studying, socializing, and visiting friends but with the constant undercurrent that she was playing a part and keeping a secret that if discovered could get her expelled. She had to decide who she was, who she wanted to be and what was most important to her, which had no easy answers.

There is also a section that tells about the life of the real Anita Hemmings (with photo), her life before and at Vassar and what happened to her after leaving college.

I’ve read some articles from 2017 and 2018 reporting that this book will be made into a film called ‘A White Lie’ starring Zendaya and Reese Witherspoon but have not found more recent information about it.

As a fan of both school stories (whether day schools, boarding schools or college/ university) and historical fiction this book is a great mix of both!


Finding Dorothy

See the source imageI had somehow come right next door to forgetting about The Wizard of Oz (originally published as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) in spite of the fact that it was one of my childhood favourites (and this from someone who believes it’s important to retain as much childlike wonder as we possibly can). The story came up over the summer during a special interest education course and it was like that moment in Hook when grown-up Peter Pan finally remembers how to fly—with a rush of recognition, memories returning. We were discussing three characteristics that are important for children to develop: thinking, willing, and feeling. My (excellent and vivacious) ukulele-wielding instructor shared that when he has to explain this to parents at his school, he uses The Wizard of Oz as an analogy, with the Lion representing willing, the Scarecrow for thinking, and the Tin Woodman (of course) for feeling. Brilliant! Naturally in the story, each already has in abundance exactly the thing he presumes to be lacking—it’s one of the delights of the tale that the Scarecrow has all the smartest ideas, the Lion is the bravest (in the book he fights off two Kalidahs* at once, terrified the whole time—that’s real courage), and the Tin Woodman is the most sensitive. Continue reading