We Wear the Mask


Book Description

Why do people pass? Fifteen writers reveal their experiences with passing. For some, “passing” means opportunity, access, or safety. Others don’t willingly pass but are “passed” in specific situations by someone else. We Wear the Mask, edited by Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page, is an illuminating and timely anthology that examines the complex reality of passing in America. Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he learned who he really is. Page shares how her white mother didn’t tell friends about her black ex-husband or that her children were, in fact, biracial. The anthology includes writing from Gabrielle Bellot, who shares the disquieting truths of passing as a woman after coming out as trans, and MG Lord, who, after the murder of her female lover, embraced heterosexuality. Patrick Rosal writes of how he “accidentally” passes as a waiter at the National Book Awards ceremony, and Rafia Zakaria agonizes over her Muslim American identity while traveling through domestic and international airports. Other writers include Trey Ellis, Marc Fitten, Susan Golomb, Margo Jefferson, Achy Obejas, Clarence Page, Sergio Troncoso, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and Teresa Wiltz.




We Wear the Mask


Book Description

Why do people pass? Fifteen writers reveal their experiences with passing. For some, “passing” means opportunity, access, or safety. Others don’t willingly pass but are “passed” in specific situations by someone else. We Wear the Mask, edited by Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page, is an illuminating and timely anthology that examines the complex reality of passing in America. Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he learned who he really is. Page shares how her white mother didn’t tell friends about her black ex-husband or that her children were, in fact, biracial. The anthology includes writing from Gabrielle Bellot, who shares the disquieting truths of passing as a woman after coming out as trans, and MG Lord, who, after the murder of her female lover, embraced heterosexuality. Patrick Rosal writes of how he “accidentally” passes as a waiter at the National Book Awards ceremony, and Rafia Zakaria agonizes over her Muslim American identity while traveling through domestic and international airports. Other writers include Trey Ellis, Marc Fitten, Susan Golomb, Margo Jefferson, Achy Obejas, Clarence Page, Sergio Troncoso, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and Teresa Wiltz.




My Remarkable Journey


Book Description

The remarkable woman at heart of the smash New York Times bestseller and Oscar-winning film Hidden Figures tells the full story of her life, including what it took to work at NASA, help land the first man on the moon, and live through a century of turmoil and change. In 2015, at the age of 97, Katherine Johnson became a global celebrity. President Barack Obama awarded her the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor—for her pioneering work as a mathematician on NASA’s first flights into space. Her contributions to America’s space program were celebrated in a blockbuster and Academy-award nominated movie. In this memoir, Katherine shares her personal journey from child prodigy in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia to NASA human computer. In her life after retirement, she served as a beacon of light for her family and community alike. Her story is centered around the basic tenets of her life—no one is better than you, education is paramount, and asking questions can break barriers. The memoir captures the many facets of this unique woman: the curious “daddy’s girl,” pioneering professional, and sage elder. This multidimensional portrait is also the record of a century of racial history that reveals the influential role educators at segregated schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities played in nurturing the dreams of trailblazers like Katherine. The author pays homage to her mentor—the African American professor who inspired her to become a research mathematician despite having his own dream crushed by racism. Infused with the uplifting wisdom of a woman who handled great fame with genuine humility and great tragedy with enduring hope, My Remarkable Journey ultimately brings into focus a determined woman who navigated tough racial terrain with soft-spoken grace—and the unrelenting grit required to make history and inspire future generations.




The Latecomer


Book Description

*A New York Times Notable Book of 2022* *A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction* *An NPR Best Book of the Year* *A New Yorker Best Book of 2022* From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Latecomer is a layered and immersive literary novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth. The Latecomer follows the story of the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family, from the first meeting of parents Salo and Johanna, under tragic circumstances, to their triplets born during the early days of IVF. As children, the three siblings – Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally – feel no strong familial bond and cannot wait to go their separate ways, even as their father becomes more distanced and their mother more desperate. When the triplets leave for college, Johanna, faced with being truly alone, makes the decision to have a fourth child. What role will the “latecomer” play in this fractured family? A complex novel that builds slowly and deliberately, The Latecomer touches on the topics of grief and guilt, generational trauma, privilege and race, traditions and religion, and family dynamics. It is a profound and witty family story from an accomplished author, known for the depth of her character studies, expertly woven storylines, and plot twists.




Craft and Conscience


Book Description

The first major book for writers to more effectively engage with complex socio-political issues—a critical first step in creating social change Writers are witnesses and scribes to society’s conscience but writing about social issues in the twenty-first century requires a new, sharper toolkit. Craft and Conscience helps writers weave together their narrative craft, analytical and research skills, and their conscience to create prose which makes us feel the individual and collective impact of crucial issues of our time. Kavita Das guides writers to take on nuanced perspectives and embrace intentionality through a social justice lens. She challenges writers to unpack their motivations for writing about an issue and to understand that “writing, irrespective of genre or outlet, is an act of political writing,” regardless of intention. The book includes essays from a fascinating mix of authors, including James Baldwin, Alexander Chee, Kaitlyn Greenidge, George Orwell, Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz, Gaiutra Bahadur, Jaquira Díaz, and Imani Perry. By including Das’s own perspective and those of the featured writers about motivations and approaches to writing about fraught social issues, this book both demystifies the process of engaging social issues on the page, and underscores the intentionality and sensitivity that must go into the work.




The Specter of Hypocrisy


Book Description

Raphael Sassower examines the concept of hypocrisy for its strategic potential as a means of personal protection and social cohesion. Given the contemporary context of post-truth, the examination of degrees or kinds of hypocrisy moves from the Greek etymology of masks worn on the theater stage to the Hebrew etymology of the color adjustment of chameleons to their environment. Canonical presuppositions about the uniformity of the mind and the relation between intention and behavior that warrant the charge of hypocrisy are critically reconsidered in order to appreciate both inherent inconsistencies in personal conduct and the different contexts where the hypocrisy appears. Sassower considers the limits of analytic moral and political discourses that at times overlook the conditions under which putative hypocritical behavior is existentially required and where compromises yield positive results. When used among friends, the charge of hypocrisy is a useful tool with which to build trust and communities.




Passing Fancies in Jewish American Literature and Culture


Book Description

In Passing Fancies Judith Ruderman takes on the fraught question of who passes for Jewish in American literature and culture. In today’s contemporary political climate, religious and racial identities are being reconceived as responses to culture and environment, rather than essential qualities. Many Jews continue to hold conflicting ideas about their identity—seeking, on the one hand, deep engagement with Jewish history and the experiences of the Jewish people, while holding steadfastly, on the other hand, to the understanding that identity is fluid and multivalent. Looking at a carefully chosen set of texts from American literature, Ruderman elaborates on the strategies Jews have used to "pass" from the late 19th century to the present—nose jobs, renaming, clothing changes, religious and racial reclassification, and even playing baseball. While traversing racial and religious identities has always been a feature of America’s nation of immigrants, Ruderman shows how the complexities of identity formation and deformation are critically relevant during this important cultural moment.




Study Guide for Book Clubs: The Vanishing Half


Book Description

An essential tool for all reading groups! No reading group should be without this book club companion to Bret Bennett's acclaimed novel, The Vanishing Half. This comprehensive guide includes useful background to the novel, a full plot summary, discussion of themes & symbols, detailed character notes, thought-provoking discussion questions, and even a quick quiz. Study Guides for Book Clubs are designed to help you get the absolute best from your book club meetings. They enable reading group members to appreciate their chosen book in greater depth than ever before. Please be aware that this is a companion guide and does not contain the full text of the novel.




My Name Is Iris


Book Description

"Brando Skyhorse, winner of the PEN Hemingway Award, returns with his highly anticipated second novel, a literary dystopian tale set in a near-future America where mandatory identification wristbands make second-generation immigrants into second-class citizens"--




The Madonnas of Echo Park


Book Description

Explores the lives of those who shed their ethnic identity in pursuit of the American dream with a different character in each chapter, including Hector, a day laborer who witnesses a murder, and Felicia, who survives a drive-by shooting.