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Libertie

A Novel

By Kaitlyn Greenidge

“Pure brilliance. So much will be written about Kaitlyn Greenidge’s Libertie—how it blends history and magic into a new kind of telling, how it spins the past to draw deft circles around our present—but none of it will measure up to the singular joy of reading this book.” Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk  

The critically acclaimed and Whiting Award–winning author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman returns with an unforgettable story about the meaning of freedom.
 
Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson was all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, had a vision for their future together: Libertie would 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 mother
who can pass, Libertie has skin that is too dark. 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 novel resonates in our times and is perfect for readers of Brit Bennett, Min Jin Lee, and Yaa Gyasi.

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Meet the Author
Kaitlyn Greenidge headshot

Kaitlyn Greenidge

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Review quotes
“In this singular novel, Kaitlyn Greenidge confronts the anonymizing forces of history with her formidable gifts. Libertie is a glorious, piercing song for the ages—fierce, brilliant, and utterly free.”
Brandon Taylor, author of Real Life

“Pure brilliance. So much will be written about Kaitlyn Greenidge’s Libertie—how it blends history and magic into a new kind of telling, how it spins the past to draw deft circles around our present—but none of it will measure up to the singular joy of reading this book.”
Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations 

“The voice that fuels this novel is rooted in the body and rises toward myth, forged of history, ocean salt, iron, and hope. With Libertie, Kaitlyn Greenidge adds an indelible new sound to American literature, and confirms her status as one of our most gifted young writers.”
Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You and Cleanness 

“What is care and what is poison? Where does life end? Where does liberty begin? By creating Libertie—a 19th century 'black gal,' a modern existential heroine—Greenidge has resurrected more than an ancestor. She has revived the anger and the love, the grief and the pride, and, above all, the fierce need for freedom that still drive our nation today.”
C. Morgan Babst, author of The Floating World

“This is a historical novel, a magical novel, a familial novel, a Bildungsroman—a work that defies simple categorization. The complexities herein signify an important writer throwing all her talents and brilliance on the page, offering us more than we deserve. Reading Libertie can feel like reading Toni Morrison. Such a comparison, however, is a disservice to Kaitlyn Greenidge, who is an original light, a writer to emulate, a master of the craft, and a mind we’re fortunate to have living among us.”
Gabriel Bump, author of Everywhere You Don’t Belong
Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
336
Publication date
March 09, 2021
ISBN
9781616207014