Jacqueline Woodson - "Red at the Bone" - Samira Ahmed

Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Jacqueline Woodson

National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming and 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson presents her new novel, Red at the Bone, named one of the Most Anticipated Books of Fall by Parade, Town & Country, LitHub and The Millions, Sunday, September 22 at 4pm at Gary Comer Youth Center. She will be joined in conversation by Samira Ahmed. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion. This event is free to the public, but registration is required. Free tickets are available here, first come-first serve.


“Jacqueline Woodson is moving and shaking in both YA and adult literature realms. Her new adult novel brings together a clash of social classes via an unexpected pregnancy . . . Two words: can’t wait.” —The Millions, Most Anticipated 2019


“[A] beautifully imagined novel. . . Woodson’s nuanced voice evokes the complexities of race, class, religion, and sexuality in fluid prose and a series of telling details. This is a wise, powerful, and compassionate novel.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review


At the Gary Comer Youth Center / 7200 S. Ingleside Ave.

About the bookRed at the Bone centers around two families in Brooklyn from different social classes joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, Woodson unfurls the history of each generation to show how they all arrived at this moment and uncovers the role that history, racism and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families  With her gift for language that reads “more like prose poetry” (New York Times Book Review) and packs the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Woodson explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood.  Most strikingly, Red at the Bone looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives—even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be. Early reads of Red at the Bone have stopped booksellers in their tracks. Jamie Southern of Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC declared it “a beautiful, gut-punch of a novel,” and Emilie Sommer of East City Bookshop in Washington, DC described it as “searing, immersive, and utterly moving,” determining “this is Jacqueline Woodson at the peak of her prodigious talent.” Not only is Woodson “one of the quietly great masters of our time” (Kirkus), but she has delivered an electrifying, resonant novel.  A novel so fully human, beautiful and layered, that it feels destined to become—like its author—iconic.

About the author: Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books including the 2016 New York Times-bestselling, National Book Award finalist for adult fiction, Another Brooklyn. Among her many accolades, Woodson is a four-time National Book Award finalist, a four-time Newbery Honor winner, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award Winner. Her New York Times-bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, received the National Book Award in 2014. Woodson is also the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Children's Literature Legacy Award. In 2015, she was named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She lives with her family in New York.

About the interlocutor: Samira Ahmed was born in Bombay, India and grew up in a small Illinois town in a house that smelled like fried onions, cardamom, and potpourri. She received her BA and MAT from the University of Chicago and went on to teach high school English in both the suburbs of Chicago and the New York City Public Schools. After she left the classroom, she worked in education non-profits, helping to create more than seventy small high schools in New York City and fought to secure billions of dollars in public school funding throughout New York State. Samira is the New York Times bestselling author of Love, Hate & Other Filters, Internment, and the forthcoming Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know.  

About Gary Comer Youth Center: Gary Comer Youth Center on the campus of Comer Education Campus has been recognized as one of the most unique youth-serving organizations in the nation. Located in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, the campus is anchored by the state-of-the-art Gary Comer Youth Center, Gary Comer College Prep and Gary Comer Middle School. Programming is offered in three primary categories: academics, enrichment, and college and career preparation.


Event Location: 
Gary Comer Youth Center
7200 South Ingleside Avenue
Chicago, IL 60619