by Kim Coleman Foote
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Pub Date 05 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 03 Nov 2023
Zando Projects, SJP Lit
“Once in a while, a writer comes along with a brilliance that stops the breath. Kim Coleman Foote is that writer.” ―Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award–winning author of Red at the Bone
“A masterpiece. Brilliant, vivid, heartbreaking, epic, beautiful, raw and true . . . This is the American story.” ―Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Less Is Lost
“Kim Coleman Foote has the rare talent of completely immersing you in time and place . . . A sweeping yet intimate family saga.” ―Sarah Jessica Parker
Coleman Hill is the exhilarating story of two American families whose fates become intertwined in the wake of the Great Migration. Braiding fact and fiction, it is a remarkable, character-rich tour de force exploring the ties that bind three generations.
In 1916, Celia Coleman and Lucy Grimes flee the racism and poverty of their homes in the post–Civil War South for the “Promised Land” of the North. But soon they learn that even in Vauxhall, New Jersey, black women are mainly hired for domestic work, money is scarce, children don’t progress in school, and black men die young.
Within a few short years, both women’s husbands are dead. Left to navigate this unwelcoming place alone, Celia and Lucy turn to one another for support in raising their children far from home. They become one another’s closest confidantes and, encouraged by their mothers’ friendship, their children’s lives become enmeshed as well. However, with this closeness comes complication. As the children grow into adolescence, two are caught in an impulsive act of impropriety, and Celia and Lucy find themselves at irreconcilable odds over who’s to blame. The ensuing fallout has dire consequences that reverberate through the next two generations of their families.
A stunning biomythography―a word coined by the late great writer Audre Lorde―Coleman Hill draws from the author’s own family legend, historical record, and fervent imagination to create an unforgettable new history.
A Note From the Publisher
“Once in a while, a writer comes along with a brilliance that stops the breath. Kim Coleman Foote is that writer.”
“A masterpiece. Brilliant, vivid, heartbreaking, epic, beautiful, raw and true…This is the American story.”
—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less is Lost
“Coleman Hill is a spellbinding intergenerational family saga that will transport readers from post-slavery south to New Jersey via the great migration. Told from various perspectives of two families' stories that ultimately become interwoven, Coleman Foote explores how generational traumas mutate and reappear in the most insidious ways. With well-developed characters that no matter what opinion you have of them, you'll believe, this book left an impression.”
— Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop (Washington, D.C.)
“Coleman Hill is a heart-wrenching and eye opening story about the journey of being Black in America. While reading you will feel immersed in this story. It is raw and sometimes uncomfortable but a needed conversation starter that has to be had.”
-Chardai Powell, Loyalty Bookstore (Silver Spring, MD)
“The story of the two intertwined families as they flee the south for a better life in the north is majestic. Coleman draws on her own family folklore to illuminate the travails of the Coleman and Grimes families, from man of the house Jebbie and long suffering Bertha to the terrifying Gra' Coleman. Coleman's work is poetic even when describing the family struggles with poverty and violence. Will be looking forward to this later this year.”
– Benedict Tanter, Main Point Books (Wayne, PA)