Poet Honoree Fanonne Jeffers produced a stunning
debut novel. Before its publication, The Loves Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois was already named by Oprah as her
next book club pick. The novel, clocking in at 816 pages, is a sweeping ancestral saga chronicling the American South from before the Civil War to present day.
Scholar W.E.B. Du Bois wrote about the problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” the sensitivity that every African American possesses to survive. The novel's protagonist feels these words deeply as she navigates her history while trying to create her future.
Jeffers joins Marrie Stone to share the history behind the novel, how it grew to over 800 pages, and her struggles along the way. She talks about her attempt to shed her poetic voice, and then reclaim it again. She also hints that she may not be done with these characters.
(Broadcast date: August 18, 2021)