In the same vein of Kalisha Buckhanon’s critically-acclaimed debut novel Upstate, again she shares an emotionally beautiful story about today’s youth that magnifies the unforgettable power of hope and the human spirit.
Buckhanon takes us to Chicago, 1992, and into the life of fifteen-year-old Shivana Montgomery, who believes all Black women wind up the same: single and raising children alone, like her mother. Until the sudden visit of her beautiful and free-spirited Aunt Jewel, Shivana spends her days desperately struggling to understand life and the growing pains of her environment. When she accidentally becomes pregnant by an older man and must decide what to do, she begins a journey towards adulthood with only a mysterious voice inside to guide her. When she falls in love with Rasul, a teenager with problems of his own, together they fight to rise above their circumstances and move toward a more positive future. Through the voice of the unborn child and a narrative sweeping from slavery onward, Buckhanon narrates Shivana’s connection to a past history of Black women who found themselves at the mercy of tragic circumstances.
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KALISHA BUCKHANON's first novel Upstate won an American Library Association Alex Award and was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award in Debut Fiction. Terry McMillan selected her to receive the first Terry McMillan Young Author Award in 2006. A recipient of a 2001 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship and an Andrew Mellon Fellow, Buckhanon frequently teaches writing and speaks throughout the country. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New School University in New York City, and both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. She was born in 1977 in Kankakee, Illinois.