Friday, March 16, 2012

Getting ready for...Silver Sparrow

Henrietta Lacks was clearly a popular choice; thanks to the 18 participants who came out for a rousing discussion of medical research, race, ethics and class last Tuesday! I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

We're shifting gears next month with Silver Sparrow, a  stunning, painful story of betrayal and disillusionment, from Atlanta author Tayari Jones, (see my post from last October ).  Dana and Chaurisse are sisters, but only Dana knows it. She and her mother Gwen are the "secret" family, the illegitimate wife and daughter James Witherspoon hides from his "real" family and the rest of the world. Although James persuades himself that he's doing right by them, Dana's resentment at always being second best eventually leads to devastating revelations for everyone involved. Jones creates a cast of fascinating and memorable characters, and a fully realized setting in Atlanta's black community of the late 70s and 80.

 Silver Sparrow has struck a chord with many readers; it's won numerous awards, and has been profiled on NPR's All Things Considered, blacklitchat, The Root, and the African American Book Club.

As usual, I've reserved copies for AAL group members, so call 847-448-8620 or stop by the Evanston Public Library Reader's Services desk to get one. I'll see all of you next month, April 10th, 7:00 pm at Evanston Public Library!


  1. I enjoyed the discussion on Immortal Life. I thought some of you might enjoy the recent book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century, by Dorthy Roberts, who lives in Evanston and works at Northwestern. Here's a link:

    I confess that I have not read it, but I did attend a talk by Roberts at NW hosted by the YWCA and it sounded interesting enough for me to buy the book. It strikes me as a good follow up to the Immortal Life book.

  2. Thanks Gretchen! I'm definitely putting it on my reading list.


  3. Silver Sparrow was an awesome read! Tayari has an amazing voice. Her character development, prose, and storyline immediately endear you to the characters of this book! I'm looking forward to reading more from her!

  4. Glad you liked it Canada! I agree: Tayari is sensational. Please keep commenting on our books!