In-Store Book Launch: Sweetbitter (reissue) with Reginald Gibbons and Cordelia Maude Spelman
Please join us to celebrate the publication of Sweetbitter by Reginald Gibbons. For this event, Reginald will be joined in conversation by his wife, writer and artist Cornelia Maude Spelman.
First published 30-years-ago, Sweetbitter was the winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. This new edition, with extensive edits by the author, brings the book back in print. Sweetbitter takes place in east Texas in 1910 during the time of white rule--not by law but by lynch mob. Amid the suffocating racism and fear, half-Choctaw, half-white Reuben Sweetbitter and Martha Clarke, a white woman, fall in love. Forbidden to be seen together, they escape to the town of Harriet, where an influential friend of Martha helps them settle down and raise a family. Reuben and Martha's love is strong, but, dishearteningly, racism is stronger.
National Book Award winner Charles Johnson writes: "Reginald Gibbons brings a masterful poet's gifts to his debut as a novelist. Complex and challenging, Sweetbitter will reward readers on every page." The Chicago Tribune writes: "Surprising in every way... The novel's ending is as strong as its beginning-terrifying and beautiful, a true tour de force."
Reginald Gibbons has published eleven books of poems, including Creatures of a Day (Finalist for National Book Award) and, most recently, Renditions. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Center for Hellenic Studies. His prizes include the O. B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library; Best Novel, Best Book of Poems; and Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters, Chicagoan of the Year in Literature (Chicago Tribune), and The Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
Cornelia Maude Spelman is a writer, an artist, and former therapist. She is the author of picture books for children, including a series called "The Way I Feel." Her work has been translated into ten languages and sold over two million copies worldwide. Her memoir Missing, about the quest to understand her mother's life was released last fall. Her forthcoming memoir Solace is forthcoming in 2024 from JackLeg Press.