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Tayari Jones on her literary lineage and choosing Atlanta

Tayari Jones—author, professor, and griot of the American South—has a lot on her plate. She teaches a creative writing class at Emory University, she has book blurbs due and forewords to file, and she has words in a just-released craft book, How We Do It, where her Emory colleague Jericho Brown gathered Black writers to explain “how they go about making what they make.” “I know I have a novel,” Jones writes, “when I have a question to which I don’t know the moral/ethical answer.” She is also putting the finishing touches on her fifth and forthcoming novel, Old Fourth Ward, which is set squarely in Black Atlanta’s centers of gravity: the historic neighborhood adjacent to downtown Atlanta (and the book’s namesake) and Cascade Heights (her old stomping grounds).
Valerie Boyd Alice Walker Gathering Blossoms Under Fire

Valerie Boyd and Alice Walker: On the kinship and legacy of a literary union

Gathering Blossoms, Boyd’s second book, consists of half a century of Walker’s journal entries from more than 65 notebooks. Sifting through thousands of pages must have been a daunting task for Boyd and Walker. But the Georgia natives were kindred spirits whose partnership seemed fated—they both share a love for another Black woman author, Zora Neale Hurston.
Valerie Boyd Rememberance

Valerie Boyd: A Remembrance

When a mutual friend called to let me know Valerie Boyd had joined the ancestors, I already knew. The night before, I had felt the rush of something irreplaceable leaving us way too soon.

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