About this item

From the author of the acclaimed The Dry Grass of August comes a richly researched yet lyrical Southern-set novel that explores the conflicts of gentrification - a moving story of loss, love, and resilience.

In 1961 Charlotte, North Carolina, the predominantly black neighborhood of Brooklyn is a bustling city within a city. Self-contained and vibrant, it has its own restaurants, schools, theaters, churches, and night clubs. There are shotgun shacks and poverty, along with well-maintained houses like the one Loraylee Hawkins shares with her young son, Hawk, her Uncle Ray, and her grandmother, Bibi. Loraylee's love for Archibald Griffin, Hawk's white father and manager of the cafeteria where she works, must be kept secret in the segregated South.

Loraylee has heard rumors that the city plans to bulldoze her neighborhood, claiming it's dilapidated and dangerous. The government promises to provide new housing and relocate businesses. But locals like Pastor Ebenezer Polk, who's facing the demolition of his church, know the value of Brooklyn does not lie in bricks and mortar. Generations have lived, loved, and died here, supporting and strengthening each other. Yet street by street, longtime residents are being forced out. And Loraylee, searching for a way to keep her family together, will form new alliances - and find an unexpected path that may yet lead her home.



About the Author

Anna Jean Mayhew

Anna Jean (A.J.) Mayhew's first novel, The Dry Grass of August, won the 2011 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and was an Okra Pick of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. Delta Magazine of Mississippi included the book as one of the top five novels of 2011. A Blackstone Audio book came out in December, and the novel is being translated into French and Italian for release in 2013. Last September, A. J. dined with Governor Beverly Perdue and the First Gentleman at a gathering to honor North Carolina authors, and is now working on her next novel, Tomorrow's Bread. She will be on the faculty of the Hub City Writers Project at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, July 13-15, 2012, at On the Same Page Literary Festival September 13-15, 2012, and at Table Rock Writers Conference September 17-21, 2012.



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