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Saturday Features From the OCPL - Saturday, June 11 - 2022 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Posted 06/11/22

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Book Cover
Category: History 

Title: Covered with Night

Author(s): Nicole Eustace

Summary: "An immersive tale of the killing of a Native American man and its far-reaching consequences for Colonial America. In the summer of 1722, on the eve of a conference between the Five Nations of the Iroquois and British-American colonists, two colonial fur traders brutally attacked an Indigenous hunter in colonial Pennsylvania. The crime set the entire mid-Atlantic on edge, with many believing that war was imminent. Frantic efforts to resolve the case created a contest between Native American forms of justice, centered on community, forgiveness, and reparations, and an ideology of harsh reprisal, based on British law, that called for the killers' execution. In a stunning narrative history based on painstaking original research, acclaimed historian Nicole Eustace reconstructs the crime and its aftermath, taking us into the worlds of Euro-Americans and Indigenous peoples in this formative period. A feat of reclamation evoking Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale and Alan Taylor's William Cooper's Town, Eustace's utterly absorbing account provides a new understanding of Indigenous forms of justice, with lessons for our era"--Provided by publisher.

Publication Information: New York, NY : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2021.

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Book Cover

Category: History

Title: Cuba : An American History 

Author(s): Ada Ferrer

Summary: "In Cuba, the passing of Fidel Castro from this world and of Raúl Castro from power have raised urgent questions about the island's political future. In the United States, Barack Obama's opening to Cuba, the reversal of that policy during Donald Trump's administration, and Joseph Biden's apparentwillingness to reinitiate open relations have made the nature of the historic relationship between the two nations a subject of debate once more. In both countries, the time is ripe for a new reckoning with Cuba's history and its relationship to the United States. Now, award-winning historian Ada Ferrer delivers an ambitious and moving chronicle of more than five hundred years of Cuban history, reconceived and written for a moment when history itself seems up for grabs. Starting on the eve of the arrival of Columbus and ending with the 2020 US presidential election, Cuba: An American History provides us with a front-row seat as we witness the evolution of modern Cuba, with its dramatic history of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, of independence and revolutions made and unmade. Throughout, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between Cuba and its neighbor to the north, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways Cuba has been a recurring presence in US affairs. This, then, is a story of Cuba that will also give American readers unexpected insights into the history of their own country. Filled with rousing stories and characters, and drawing on over thirty years of research in Cuba, Spain, and the United States-as well as the author's own extensive travel in Cuba over the same period-this is a stunning and monumental history of Cuba like no other"-- Provided by publisher

Publication Information: New York ; London : Scribner, 2021.

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Book Cover

Category: Biography 

Title: Chasing Me To My Grave

Author(s): Winfred Rembert, Erin I. Kelly

Summary: 
Booklist #1 Nonfiction Book of the Year * African American Literary Book Club (AALBC) #1 Nonfiction Bestseller * Named a Best Book of the Year by: NPR, Publishers Weekly, BookPage, Barnes & Noble, Hudson Booksellers, ARTnews, and more * Amazon Editors' Pick * Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Nonfiction Longlist

"A compelling and important history that this nation desperately needs to hear." -Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative

Winfred Rembert grew up in a family of Georgia field laborers and joined the Civil Rights Movement as a teenager. He was arrested after fleeing a demonstration, survived a near-lynching at the hands of law enforcement, and spent seven years on chain gangs. During that time he met the undaunted Patsy, who would become his wife. Years later, at the age of fifty-one and with Patsy's encouragement, he started drawing and painting scenes from his youth using leather tooling skills he learned in prison.

Chasing Me to My Grave presents Rembert's breathtaking body of work alongside his story, as told to Tufts Philosopher Erin I. Kelly. Rembert calls forth vibrant scenes of Black life on Cuthbert, Georgia's Hamilton Avenue, where he first glimpsed the possibility of a life outside the cotton field. As he pays tribute, exuberant and heartfelt, to Cuthbert's Black community and the people, including Patsy, who helped him to find the courage to revisit a traumatic past, Rembert brings to life the promise and the danger of Civil Rights protest, the brutalities of incarceration, his search for his mother's love, and the epic bond he found with Patsy.

Vivid, confrontational, revelatory, and complex, Chasing Me to My Grave is a searing memoir in prose and painted leather that celebrates Black life and summons readers to confront painful and urgent realities at the heart of American history and society.

Publication Information: 

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Category: General Nonfiction 

Title: Invisible ChildBook Cover

Author(s): Andrea Elliott

Summary: A "vivid and devastating" (The New York Times) portrait of an indomitable girl--from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott 

"From its first indelible pages to its rich and startling conclusion, Invisible Childhad me, by turns, stricken, inspired, outraged, illuminated, in tears, and hungering for reimmersion in its Dickensian depths."--Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times - ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Library Journal 

In Invisible Child, Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott follows eight dramatic years in the life of Dasani, a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. In this sweeping narrative, Elliott weaves the story of Dasani's childhood with the history of her ancestors, tracing their passage from slavery to the Great Migration north. As Dasani comes of age, New York City's homeless crisis has exploded, deepening the chasm between rich and poor. She must guide her siblings through a world riddled by hunger, violence, racism, drug addiction, and the threat of foster care. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter "to protect those who I love." When she finally escapes city life to enroll in a boarding school, she faces an impossible question: What if leaving poverty means abandoning your family, and yourself?  

A work of luminous and riveting prose, Elliott's Invisible Child reads like a page-turning novel. It is an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family and the cost of inequality--told through the crucible of one remarkable girl.

Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize - Finalist for the Bernstein Award and the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award

Publication Information: New York : MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022.

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