Libertie

A Times Book of the Month and Roxane Gay's Book Club May Pick

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Pub Date 29 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 28 Apr 2021

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Description

A Times Book of the Month May 2021 Book of the Month for Roxane Gay's Book Club 'A feat of monumental thematic imagination' - The New York Times Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Brooklyn after the Civil War, 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. 'A soaring exploration of what "freedom" truly means ... an elegantly layered, beautifully rendered tour de force that is not to be missed' - Roxane Gay

A Times Book of the Month May 2021 Book of the Month for Roxane Gay's Book Club 'A feat of monumental thematic imagination' - The New York Times Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Brooklyn...


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ISBN 9781788169004
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge is a gorgeous, lyrical work of historical fiction. It reads like an odyssey of a woman’s search to find herself and true freedom. The story begins in post-Civil-War New York, where Libertie witnesses her mother resurrect an enslaved man from the dead, a man who found his way to freedom inside of a coffin. Libertie and her mother Cathy Sampson are freeborn. Cathy is a doctor who establishes a clinic in an “all-coloured” town in Kings County. Cathy shares her ambitions with Libertie and believes one day a carriage will bear in gold writing the words ‘Dr Sampson and Daughter’. Greenidge beautifully captures the disparate relationship between mother and daughter, one of dreams for a future braided from the injustices and absences of the past. But Libertie desires autonomy, freedom and it is these choices which widen the divide between them and send Libertie overseas seeking identity and equality elsewhere in the folds of marriage and motherhood. The world captured in the book is textured with myth, spirits and riddles. The resurrected man, Ben Daisy is an elemental figure for the rest of Libertie’s life, a man for whom freedom could not release his caged heart. This is a powerful, essential story which confronts history with the sharpness of a gifted writers vision for the future encapsulated by Libertie who writes to her mother that she has “almost reached the garden.”

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