Two (Debuts) from Graywolf: Wayétu Moore & Kristen Tracy
We are delighted to present this evening with two writers who have each had outstanding debut works published this past year, all from Graywolf Press, for years now a solid source of such debuts.
There are stories to be told about Liberia-born debut novelist Wayétu Moore’s path to becoming a novelist, including her starting a children’s book publishing house for West African children, and opening a bookstore in Monrovia, to see nothing of pursuing an education here in the U.S. Remarkable as those stories are, the story of her beautiful first novel, She Would Be King, is at least as remarkable. “This compelling debut novel by Wayétu Moore blends historical fiction with magical realism in an exhilarating tale of the formation of Liberia. Moore effortlessly weaves the threads of indigenous West African tribes, American and Caribbean slavery, and British colonialism together to tell the creation story of a new nation, complete with unforgettable characters and a dynamic voice.”—Marie Claire.
Los Angeles poet Kristen Tracy becomes yet another stellar Graywolf Press poetry debut with her collection Half-Hazard, though this isn’t her first foray into book publishing, she being a children’s book author of note. “[Kristen] Tracy’s prodigious talents craft a world that, once entered, you never wish to return from.”—Claudia Rankine. “What animal grace in these poems of the human stumble and dance on the road to becoming human...This first collection of poetry by Kristen Tracy is a keeper.”—Joy Harjo. Half-Hazard received the Emily Dickinson First Book Award from the Poetry Foundation.
A third Graywolf writer, Jamel Brinkley, author of A Lucky Man, is now a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction, and has had to postpone his visit to us. We’ve been angling to get Jamel Brinkley here since his debut book of stories, A Lucky Man, was published earlier this year and hope to see him in 2019. “With equal parts precision and poetry, these nine audacious stories step into the minefields awaiting boys of color as they approach manhood in Brooklyn and the Bronx—testing the limits of relationships, social norms, and their own definitions of masculinity.”—O, the Oprah Magazine.