PageTurners: You Know What They Say About History...

PageTurners: You Know What They Say About History...

Bress ’n; Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer, While Justice Sleeps, Notes on Grief
Bress ’n; Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer, While Justice Sleeps, Notes on Grief
Image: Country Man Press, Doubleday Books, Penguin Random House

… It has a way of repeating itself, or that’s how the saying goes. Within that repetition comes new ways in which historians and the general public alike find themselves trying to change the course of history while attempting to record for posterity the profound impact events have had on the country.

One of the ways in which American history is preserved is through food and charting the way different recipes and crops have impacted our culture. James Beard Award nominee and semifinalist Matthew Raiford honors his formerly enslaved great-great-great-grandfather and the ways in which Gullah culture has shaped food and culture, building and connecting communities for generations.

This past year has been historic, particularly in the ways in which the world has been connected through grief and loss. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie penned Notes on Grief, which explores types of loss that expand beyond the COVID-19 crisis. While Notes on Grief navigates the feelings around her father, another tragedy and unexpected loss shook Adichie’s world: Her mother, Grace Ifeoma Adichie, subsequently died on March 1, 2021, which happened to also be the 89th posthumous birthday of Adichie’s father. “How Does A Heart Break Twice?” she captioned a poignant Instagram post.

Additionally, Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman collected a series of essays, poems and letters surrounding the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and the different types of grief that the uprising created.

Stacey Abrams made history this past year with her efforts to expand voter registration, which ultimately impacted the 2020 election in a way that hadn’t been seen before. Her long-awaited political thriller, While Justice Sleeps, is an exciting and anticipatory read which also examines the truth behind politics and the vast web of controversial decisions.

So yes, history has a way of repeating itself, but without that repetition, we wouldn’t have the brilliant and poignant stories you’ll find in this week’s literary releases.

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Bress ’n; Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer – Matthew Raiford with Amy Paige Condon (Cookbook)

Bress ’n; Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer – Matthew Raiford with Amy Paige Condon (Cookbook)

Bress ’n; Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer – Matthew Raiford with Amy Paige
Bress ’n; Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer – Matthew Raiford with Amy Paige
Image: Country Man Press

Bress ’n; Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer – Matthew Raiford with Amy Paige Condon (Cookbook)

If there is anything that can express the depth of Black American history, it’s food and the way it has evolved through recipes that have been passed down. Matthew Raiford, a sixth-generation farmer and 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist, pulls together over 100 recipes that beautifully represent Gullah culture and honors the life of his great-great-great-grandfather, a freed enslaved man purchased in 1874. From hot buttermilk biscuits to salmon cakes on pepper rice, Gullah fish stew and sweet potato pie, Raiford pays homage to Gullah Geechee food and its role in American cuisine.

Taking on a new approach to farm-to-table dining, Raiford pulls recipes from his family history and illustrates how they brought a community together through food.

May 11, 2021, Country Man Press

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Everyone’s Table: Global recipes for Modern Health – Gregory Gourdet, JJ Goode, EdD (Cookbook)

Everyone’s Table: Global recipes for Modern Health – Gregory Gourdet, JJ Goode, EdD (Cookbook)

Everyone’s Table: Global recipes for Modern Health – Gregory Gourdet, JJ Goode, EdD
Everyone’s Table: Global recipes for Modern Health – Gregory Gourdet, JJ Goode, EdD
Image: HarperCollins

Top Chef season 12 finalist and season 17 all-star Gregory Gourdet brings his passion for global ingredients and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in his new cookbook, Everyone’s Table: Global recipes for Modern Health. He takes readers across the globe with over 200 recipes focusing on superfoods that are the most nutrient-dense, have the best fats and the most minerals. His recipes include vegetable-forward dishes, meat stews, easy techniques on how to store and ferment your own sauces and interesting ways to put seasonal ingredients to use.

Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health is designed to be an “everyday kitchen essential… and change forever the way we think about, approach, and enjoy healthy eating.”

– HarperCollins

May 11, 2021, HarperCollins

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Notes on Grief – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Memoir)

Notes on Grief – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Memoir)

Notes on Grief – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Notes on Grief – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Image: Penguin Random House

Along with millions across the world who have lost loved ones in the past year, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie expands upon her viral New Yorker piece examining her grief after the loss of her father in the summer of 2020. Though he did not pass from COVID-19, he unexpectedly succumbed to the complications of kidney failure, and like many who lost family during that time, Adichie had to work through her grief alone.

Her talent for critical thinking, brilliant language and attention to detail examines the idea of cross-cultural grief and the role it plays in healing. Adichie touches on the triumphs of her father’s life—from his survival during the Biafran war to his tenure as a statistics professor to his unrelenting drive for connection with his family through video chats from Abba, Nigeria before his death. Notes on Grief explores Adichie’s own suffering and offers herself as a guide, friend and confidant to her readers as they navigate the same rocky terrain.

May 11, 2021, Penguin Random House

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Son of the Storm – Suyi Davies Okungbowa (Fiction)

Son of the Storm – Suyi Davies Okungbowa (Fiction)

Son of the Storm – Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Son of the Storm – Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Image: Orbit

The Bassai elite wants the people to think there is nothing interesting about what lies beyond the city’s walls. Danso, a clever scholar, believes otherwise. Dangling on the edge of greatness, Danso uses his smarts to chase the forbidden stories and ask the hard questions about what lies beyond the city walls.

After being shut out by immigrants sworn to secrecy, Danso stumbles across a warrior practicing a type of magic that shouldn’t exist, setting him on a course towards chaos and uncovering Bassa’s darkest secrets. His inquisitive mind draws him closer and closer to the city’s dark history and Danso makes the decision to venture beyond the city’s walls. But what he discovers—and the mess he leaves in his wake—could bring the world has he knows it crumbling to the ground.

May 11, 2021, Orbit

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There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis – Tracy K. Smith, John Freeman (Nonfiction)

There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis – Tracy K. Smith, John Freeman (Nonfiction)

There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis – Tracy K. Smith, John Freeman
There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis – Tracy K. Smith, John Freeman
Image: Penguin Random House

Composed of poetry, letters, essays and reflections, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love offers an intimate view of the revolution beginning in summer 2020 after a compounded loss of Black lives and the grief and trauma that accompanied the actions. Pulling from writers such as Edwidge Danticat, Layli Long Soldier, Reginald Dwayne Betts and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, the anthology provides a voice and holds space for the insurmountable grief and longing for hope stemming through a new era of change.

There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love is filled with “pain and beauty, warmth and intimacy [and a] remarkable feat of empathy.”

May 11, 2021, Penguin Random House

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We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom – Nesrine Malik (Nonfiction)

We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom – Nesrine Malik (Nonfiction)

We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom
We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom
Image: W.W. Norton & Company

When Donald Trump was campaigning for presidency in 2016, he stated: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” After his win, constant declarations of white supremacist ideologies on social media and to national and international press culminated in his permanent ban from Twitter after the insurrection on January 6, 2021.

We Need New Myths breaks down the theories behind different political myths and how they “subvert calls for equality from historically disenfranchised groups.” The book also goes into the greater fixation with political correctness, what it means to be “woke” and “cancel culture”; beliefs extorted by “organized and well-funded campaign elites.” Most importantly, it explores how people of color then fit into identity politics. The hardcover release of Nesrine Malik’s exploration of political mythology challenges the fundamental ways in which we as a nation are exposed to political culture.

May 11, 2021, W.W. Norton & Company

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While Justice Sleeps – Stacey Abrams (Fiction)

While Justice Sleeps – Stacey Abrams (Fiction)

While Justice Sleeps – Stacey Abrams
While Justice Sleeps – Stacey Abrams
Image: Doubleday Books

From the brilliant mind of political figure and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams comes the fictional story of Avery Keene, a smart and ambitious young upcoming lawyer with the opportunity of a lifetime—to clerk for the legendary Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn. Her excelling career skids to a stop with Wynn’s untimely slip into a coma; unexpectedly, he has designated Avery his legal guardian and power of attorney. This role forces her into a world of intrigue as she unravels a mystery involving the merger of an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm.

While Wynn remains comatose, a battle for power ensues in Washington, D.C. as politicos lobby to potentially replace him. All the while, the intricate web of lies and instructions Wynn has left for Avery to wade through and decode. While Justice Sleeps builds a world around the politics of health and control with a rollercoaster of twists and turns all culminating in a landscape of potential political destruction.

May 11, 2021, Doubleday Books

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