FROM THE PUBLISHER:
The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2021
The New York Times Book Review Best Historical Fiction of 2021
Washington Post Best Books of 2021: 50 Notable Works of Fiction
TIME 100 Must-Read Books of 2021
The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freemanreturns with Libertie, an unforgettable story about one young Black girl’s attempt to find a place where she can be fully, and only, herself.
Coming of age in a free Black community in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her light-skinned mother, Libertie will not be able to pass for white. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.
Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new and immersive novel will resonate with readers eager to understand our present through a deep, moving, and lyrical dive into our past.
“An elegantly layered, beautifully rendered tour de force that is not to be missed.”
—Roxane Gay, author of Hunger
More from the publisher:
From the Publisher
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-The question of freedom in all its varied senses weave throughout this stunning historical novel. Libertie, a dark-skinned girl, was born free in post-Civil War Brooklyn. Her light-skinned mother (based on a real-life figure) worked to help with the Underground Railroad and as a doctor, a practice she expects Libertie to take over. But after spending time at an all-Black girls school, Libertie finds herself drawn away from science and towards music. Searching for a freedom to call her own, Libertie agrees to marry a Haitian man who claims that in Haiti, she will be treated as his equal. However, she is startled to discover that even there, she is expected to be subordinate. She struggles with this new life for herself, questioning her decision to give up the potential for a more independent life alongside her mother in Brooklyn. Woven through Libertie’s coming of age is her growing understanding of colorism, classism, racism, and patriarchy as she struggles to define what being free means for a Black woman. This engaging novel immerses readers in a world rich with historical detail that brings to life lesser-known aspects of post-Civil War American history, such as Black women in medicine and the relationship between Haiti and the United States. VERDICT This will appeal to teenage fans of adult authors like Toni Morrison, Brit Bennett, and Yaa Gyasi.-Ann Foster, Saskatoon P.L., Sask.α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.–This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Kaitlyn Greenidge‘s debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, was one of the New York Times Critics’ Top 10 Books of 2016 and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times and the features director at Harper’s Bazaar, and her writing has also appeared in Vogue, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Substack, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Greenidge lives in Massachusetts. Her second novel, Libertie, is available now.