A World Built on Bondage: Racism and Human Diversity in Award-Winning Fiction

Sun. March 24, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

233 4th St NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Sponsored by: Wells Fargo, the Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards presented by the Cleveland Foundation

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Esi Edugyan (Washington Black) and Kevin Powers (A Shout In The Ruins) discuss the meanings of race, violence, and freedom, as explored in their acclaimed historical novels. Edugyan and Powers each received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for an earlier novel; they are accompanied in conversation with Award jury member Rita Dove.

This discussion of their work, reflections on historic injustices, and writing that helps make the American story a complete story will be the official closing program of the Festival, and seeks to support and celebrate diversity while working towards understanding the invasive and structural roots of racism. Following the discussion, speakers will welcome audience questions. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.

Why should you attend?

“Gripping . . . Astonishing . . . Washington Black’s presence in these pages is fierce and unsettling. His urge to live all he can is matched by his eloquence.” —Colm Toibin, The New York Times Book Review

“Perfectly executed . . . Soaring . . . More than a tale of human bondage, it’s also an enthralling meditation on the weight of freedom, wrapped in a rousing adventure story stretching to the ends of the earth.” —Renée Graham, The Boston Globe

“A masterpiece. Powers has written a novel that includes all the ferocity, complexity, and racial violence of the American South” —Philipp Meyer, author of American Rust

“Kevin Powers has already become one of the most original and exciting voices of his generation, and A Shout in the Ruins is a singular triumph of a book.” —Michael Schaub, National Public Radio