No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
384 p.; Fiction
JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he’s startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can’t seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava’s mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s unworthy but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.
JJ’s return—and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Ava—not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they’ve been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it. Can they reorient their lives to align with their wishes rather than their current realities? Or are they all already resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead?
The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince by Mayte Garcia
304 p.; Biography
In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince's life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince--both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist--than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. The Most Beautiful is a book that will be returned to for decades, as Prince's music lives on with generations to come.
What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
240 p.; Fiction/Short Stories
In “The Future Looks Good,” three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war. In “Second Chances,” a daughter greets her mother’s return from the dead with disbelief and anger. “Wild” revolves around a teenager on a visit back to Nigeria and the tenuous sisterhood she and her cousin attain after a disastrous night out shifts them onto uneasy new ground. A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results, in “Who Will Greet You at Home.” In “Light,” a father grapples - movingly and humorously—with how best to raise, protect, and empower his young daughter. And in the title story, a world ravaged by flood, filled with refugees, and carved by class, a formula has been discovered that allows experts to “fix the equation of a person” - with rippling, unforeseen repercussions.
Evocative, playful, defiant and incredibly human, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky heralds the arrival of a prodigious talent with a remarkable career ahead of her.
Once in a Blue Moon by Vicki Covington
256 p.; Fiction
In Once in a Blue Moon, Vicki Covington's new novel set during Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, change is in the air. Readers follow a diverse community of renters in Southside Birmingham through one transformative year. In league with other great Southern novelists including Anne Tyler and Fannie Flagg, Covington writes with tenderness and humor while asking important questions about family, faith, race, class, and-ultimately-hope.
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Y. Moore
272 p.; Non-fiction/Sociology
Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have touted Chicago as a “world-class city.” The skyscrapers kissing the clouds, the billion-dollar Millennium Park, Michelin-rated restaurants, pristine lake views, fabulous shopping, vibrant theater scene, downtown flower beds and stellar architecture tell one story. Yet swept under the rug is another story: the stench of segregation that permeates and compromises Chicago. Though other cities—including Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Baltimore—can fight over that mantle, it’s clear that segregation defines Chicago. And unlike many other major U.S. cities, no particular race dominates; Chicago is divided equally into black, white and Latino, each group clustered in its various turfs.
In this intelligent and highly important narrative, Chicago native Natalie Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city’s South Side; her reported essays showcase the lives of these communities through the stories of her family and the people who reside there. The South Side highlights the impact of Chicago’s historic segregation—and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact.
Back to Your Love by Kianna Alexander
352 p.; Fiction/Romance
Xavier Whitted, CPA and city council candidate, is excited to get away to the Crystal Coast for his best friend's wedding. He is shocked when he runs into his high school sweetheart there, the only woman he ever truly loved.
Dr. Imani Grant is just about ready to open her own dermatology practice when old feelings for Xavier resurface. Imani isn't willing to let him back into her life, until Xavier starts a new campaign: win Imani back-no matter what it takes.