In conversation with Asali Solomon
Ayana Mathis is the author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, “a remarkable page-turner of a novel” (Chicago Tribune) that follows the harrowing fortunes of a 15-year-old from Georgia to Philadelphia during the Great Migration. A New York Times bestseller, an NPR Best Book of 2013, and a selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, it has been translated into 16 languages. Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has published fiction in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Guernica, and Rolling Stone, among other places. She teaches writing in Hunter College’s MFA program. Set in turbulent 1980s Philadelphia and the small town of Bonaparte, Alabama, The Unsettled tells the tale of a mother, grandmother, and son struggling to save their identities, birthright, and future.
Asali Solomon’s latest novel, The Days of Afrekete has been called “a feat of engineering” by the New York Times. She is also the author of Disgruntled and Get Down: stories. Her previous novel, Disgruntled, was named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and The Denver Post. She is the recipient of a Pew Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honor. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Vibe, Essence, The Paris Review Daily, McSweeney’s, on NPR, and in several anthologies including The Best Short Stories of 2021: The O. Henry Prize Collection. Solomon is the Bertrand K. Wilbur Chair in the Humanities at Haverford, where she is a Professor of English and director of Creative Writing.
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