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Celebrating Black Women Writers Series

Gayl Jones and Ntozake Shange
Celebrating Black Women Writers reissues and revives Beacon Press’s previously published literary works by black women. The series uplifts exceptional work written by black women in honor of their stories, lives, and experiences throughout history and beyond.
If I Can Cook/You Know God Can by Ntozake Shange
Corregidora by Gayl Jones

Celebrating Black Women Writers Series : Titles in Order

Book 2
An expanded edition of a celebrated book that travels throughout the African diaspora to savor the timeless joy of black cuisine and culture.

A hidden gem by the author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Some Sing, Some Cry, Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and Betsey Brown, a delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. This edition, with delectable illustrations, features additional recipes—including two vegan dishes—that connect the culinary past to the present and welcomes a new generation of readers. With recipes such as “Cousin Eddie’s Shark with Breadfruit” and “Collard Greens to Bring You Money,” Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz of Duke Ellington, and shared by generations across the African diaspora. Rich with personal memories and historical insight, If I Can Cook/You Know God Can is a timeless story of the migration of a people and the cuisine that marks their living legacy and celebration of taste.
Book 1
One of The New Yorker’s “The Best Books We Read in 2020” picks

“Jones’s great achievement is to reckon with both history and interiority, and to collapse the boundary between them.”—Anna Wiener, The New Yorker

The new edition of an American masterpiece, this is the harrowing story of Ursa Corregidora, a blues singer in the early 20th century forced to confront the inherited trauma of slavery.

A literary classic that remains vital to our understanding of the past, Corregidora is Gayl Jones’s powerful debut novel, examining womanhood, sexuality, and the psychological residue of slavery. Jones masterfully tells the story of Ursa, a Kentucky blues singer, who, in the wake of a tragic loss, confronts her maternal history and the legacy of Corregidora, the Brazilian slave master who fathered both her mother and grandmother. Consumed and haunted by her hatred of the man who irrevocably shaped her life and the lives of her family, Ursa Corregidora must come to terms with a past that is never too distant from the present.

Selected, edited, and first edited by Toni Morrison, it is “the most brutally honest and painful revelation of what has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women,” (James Baldwin) and “a tale as American as Mount Rushmore and as murky as the Florida swamps.” (Maya Angelou).

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