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Dolen Perkins-Valdez | Wench with Lori Tharps | Substitute Me
Mon, April 11, 2011
A New York Times bestseller, Dolen Perkins-Valdez's debut novel Wench follows the lives and friendship of four enslaved black mistresses, who meet at a vacation resort for white men and their slaves in the free territory of Ohio before the Civil War. When one of the women suggests running away, they must choose between the possibilities of freedom and the friends, family, and complicated relationships with their masters that they would leave behind. "In her debut, Perkins-Valdez eloquently plunges into a dark period of American history," writes a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, concluding, "heart-wrenching, intriguing, original and suspenseful, this novel showcases Perkins-Valdez's ability to bring the unfortunate past to life."
Substitute Me is a "warm and engaging novel about the struggles of juggling marriage, motherhood, and a meaningful career," according to author Heidi Durrow. When career-oriented new mother Kate Carter returns to work, she hires African American college graduate and aspiring chef Zora Anderson to nanny her infant son--but as Kate spends longer hours at work, Zora and Kate's husband grow inevitably closer. A professor of journalism at Temple University, Lori Tharps is the author of Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain and co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. This is her debut novel.