Morgan Jerkins masterfully merges the personal with the historical in her memoir, "Wandering in Strange Lands" and her debut novel, "Caul Baby."
Literary luminary Morgan Jerkins was lauded as a voice of a generation before her first book, "This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America," hit bookshelves and the New York Times bestseller list in 2018. The collection of personal essays masterfully laid bare her reckoning with her formative years as a young Black woman growing up in South New Jersey, attending Princeton and living abroad. Jerkins' 2020 followup, "Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots," ventured farther and deeper into Jerkins' past, tracing her family tree through the Great Migration and over 300 years of American history. The book ended the year on Time magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2020. Her 2021 debut novel, "Caul Baby," began as a 2015 short story inspired by a love for Black American folklore and Harlem's rich cultural legacy. Before joining ESPN's The Undefeated as the new senior culture editor this year, Jerkins was an adjunct professor at Columbia University's nonfiction MFA program and senior editor at Zora magazine. She is currently working on her next novel and regularly contributes to publications like Elle and Harper's Bazaar.