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Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi, Jenny Tinghui Zhang & Mecca Jamilah Sullivan: A Conversation
Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 4:30 pm
300 NE Second Ave., Miami, Fl 33132 United States
A linked short story collection that moves between Nigeria and America, Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi‘s Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions: A Novel in Interlocking Stories offers a window into the world of four accomplished Nigerian women. As it explores loss, belonging, family, friendship, alienation, and silence, the book draws a portrait of women dealing with the notion that moving forward in time isn’t necessarily progress. Jenny Tinghui Zhang‘s debut Four Treasures of the Sky: A Novel tells the story of Daiyu. Kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, she must reinvent herself time and again to survive. It’s the 1880s, and as anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country, she tries to outrun tragedy by drawing on all the selves she has been to claim her name and story. And in Mecca Jamilah Sullivan‘s Big Girl: A Novel, we meet 8-year-old Malaya Clondon, who dreads being dragged to Weight Watchers meetings by her mother. Coming of age in a rapidly gentrifying 1990s Harlem, Malaya strains to understand “ladyness” and fit in a version of femininity that holds no room for her body. Then a family tragedy forces her to face the source of her hunger on her own terms.