I like Elizabeth Nunez. I mean this two-fold. She’s sweet, yet direct, which reminds me of many of the matriarchs in my family. And like many of the matriarchs in my family, she’s taken on the role of helping others—in this case, black writers—through her work as a professor at Medgar Evers College and as cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference.
I also really like her work. Her career has been more than consistent; it’s also been a testament to the beauty of great literature. Her new book, “Anna In-Between,” continues this tradition. The novel follows Anna, who returns to the Caribbean island where she was born to reconnect with her parents, only to learn that her mother has breast cancer. The book’s power is in its subtlety. In her seventh novel, Nunez manages to explore family, classism, the immigration, and belonging within a tight framework of stunning prose.
For this month’s Books on the Root podcast, I interviewed Nunez about her new book, the immigrant experience, Caribbean literature, and the conflict-filled relationship between mothers and daughters.
You can listen to our conversation here.