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Jojo and his sister Kayla live with their grandparents, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. When Jojo's white father is released from prison, his mother packs him, Kayla, and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman Farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise. "Sing, Unburied, Sing" grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family.
Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California's Newport Beach is her Iranian family's latest perch, and she's determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh. But it's the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can't distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home.
"The Sympathizer" is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam.
Cora and Caesar are slaves on a cotton plantation in Georgia who decide to attempt an escape on the Underground Railroad. But in this story, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil--and the journey moves through time as well as space. Whitehead's narrative follows the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day in a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes--sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous--Sandra Cisneros' masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery.
Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas. Their close but complicated childhood friendship ends in their early twenties; Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend is an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee. When Aimee develops philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where the women dance like Tracey and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.
"Persepolis" is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. "Persepolis" paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran.
This widely acclaimed bestseller spans two countries and two generations, following a group of Chinese women who meet to play mah jong, invest money and tell the secret stories of their lives. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club.