The great scholar W. E. B. Du Bois once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers—Ailey carries Du Bois’s Problem on her shoulders.
“This sweeping, brilliant and beautiful narrative is at once a love song to Black girlhood, family, history, joy, pain… and so much more. In Jeffers' deft hands, the story of race and love in America becomes thegreat American novel.”—Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone and Another Brooklyn
“If you read one book this year, choose this one. I went to bed thinking of Ailey Pearl Garfield and woke up thinking of her. With the arrival of this epic novel of family, race, and ancestral legacy, one of America's finest poets has announced herself as a storyteller of the highest magnitude. Absolutely brilliant.”—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Wench and Balm
“As one of the most prolific poets of our time, Jeffers has penned a family saga that is just as brilliant as it is necessary, just as intimate as it is expansive. An outstanding portrait of an American family and in turn, an outstanding portrait of America.”—Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U GivE
For over twenty years, she’s been lifting her voice on issues of Black culture, racism, American history, and gender through the medium of writing.
The Age of Phillis, Honorée’s latest poetry project, imagines the life and times of Phillis Wheatley Peters, the 18th-century woman who was the first African American to publish a book.
Honorée’s first novel project, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, is both a coming-of-age journey and a multi-generational saga. At the heart of the story is Ailey Pearl Garfield, a young Black woman from a family of multi-racial ancestors in rural Georgia.
Honorée is at work on her first (as yet untitled) nonfiction project, a collection of essays which charts personal, racial, and historical journeys. An essay from this project appears in KROnline.