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Tara M Stringfellow



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07 April 2022
'Tara Stringfellow will be an author to watch for years to come . . . A stellar debut' Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling author of Red at the Bone

Joan can't change her family's past.

But she can create her future.

Joan was only a child the last time she visited Memphis. She doesn't remember the bustle of Beale Street on a summer's night. She doesn't know she's as likely to hear a gunshot ring out as the sound of children playing. How the smell of honeysuckle is almost overwhelming as she climbs the porch steps to the house where her mother grew up. But when the front door opens, she does remember Derek.

This house full of history is home to the women of the North family. They are no strangers to adversity; resilience runs in their blood. Fifty years ago, Hazel's husband was lynched by his all-white police squad, yet she made a life for herself and her daughters in the majestic house he built for them. August lives there still, running a salon where the neighbourhood women gather. And now this house is the only place Joan has left. It is in sketching portraits of the women in her life, her aunt and her mother, the women who come to have their hair done, the women who come to chat and gossip, that Joan begins laughing again, begins living.

Memphis is a celebration of the enduring strength of female bonds, of what we pass down, from mother to daughter. Epic in scope yet intimate in detail, it is a vivid portrait of three generations of a Southern black family, as well as an ode to the city they call home.
Imprint:   Headline
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   340g
ISBN:   9781529339246
ISBN 10:   1529339243
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Poet, former attorney, Northwestern University MFA graduate, and semifinalist for the Fulbright Fellowship, Tara M Stringfellow has written for Collective Unrest, Minerva Rising, Jet Fuel Review, Women Arts Quarterly Journal and Apogee Journal, among other publications. After having lived in Okinawa, Ghana, Chicago, Cuba, Spain, Italy, and Washington, D.C., she moved back home to Memphis, where she sits on her porch swing with her hound, Huckleberry, every evening, listening to records and chatting with neighbours.


Written with the grace of a poet, Memphis is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. I fell in love with this family, from Joan's fierce heart to her grandmother Hazel's determined resilience. Tara Stringfellow will be an author to watch for years to come . . . A stellar debut * Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling author of Red at the Bone * In luminous, lyrical prose, Tara Stringfellow sings the song of the North women - and the North men - with wisdom, humor, and deep humanity. Memphis is an American epic, a tribute to life in all of its sorrow and joyful resilience * Chloe Benjamin, bestselling author of The Immortalists * An evocative, compelling tale . . . Tara M Stringfellow assembles an endearing and unforgettable cast of characters who find strength in vulnerability, safety in art, and liberation in telling the truth. This is a shining, splendid testimony in the vein of Gloria Naylor, Delores Phillips, Ayana Mathis, and Honoree Jeffers * Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Prophets * Black American literature at its finest . . . a symphony of stories * Irish Independent * A rhapsodic hymn to Black women * The New York Times Book Review * Ferocious and compassionate . . . Stringfellow deftly weaves the voices of four vivid, formidable and funny women over three generations . . . Memphis reaches back to literary mothers and towards potential daughters, honouring the strength, creativity and resilience of Black women * Irish Times * I fell in love with this book by the end of the second paragraph. This story truly touched my soul. A talented new author who is definitely one to watch * Prima, Book of the Month * Charting the story of three generations of women from a family in Memphis, this debut delivers an epic yet intimate history of black womanhood - ideal for fans of The Vanishing Half and An American Marriage * Cosmo * A stunning debut * Woman's Weekly * An accomplished debut * Good Housekeeping * This vivid debut novel examines the tragedies, joys, and deep connections of one extraordinary Memphis family . . . A powerful family saga from a promising writer * Booklist * This poetic, multigenerational story is set in the ancestral Memphis home a mother and her daughters flee to to escape the father's violence. Spanning 70 years, and told through a variety of voices, this powerful debut novel encompasses race, class, and the legacy of trauma * Oprah Daily Most Anticipated * This beautifully written debut will transport, challenge and transfix you . . . The novel is an ode to the city and the Black women living there. There's a great sense of the women's enigma and enchantment, humour and fortitude * Adele Parks, Platinum Magazine * A stunning debut, a deeply affecting portrait of familial bonds. Rich with indelible black women and Southern charm * Irenosen Okojie * If ever there was a novel that reflects how the past can shape us, and how we can change our story, it's this stunning debut . . . this beautifully told, and inspiring story is full of hope * Woman and Home * An incredible read * Bella * Stunning . . . a spectacular debut rich with Southern charm . . . a celebration of sisterhood and life * Voice Magazine *

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