The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Novel
Honoree Fannone Jeffers has written a novel so beautiful, so complex, and so historically necessary, it is hard to offer a review worthy of the stunning The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois. Suffice it to say this book should be read by anyone and everyone from any and everywhere.
If you have grown up in America, you likely have certain stories you believe about the country and her people—how we came to be who we are, our earliest, most precious and most tragic beginnings. Jeffers takes the ancestral line of one character, Ailey Garfield, and uses that line to track the American story from the 1700s to the modern era. Ailey’s life as a black woman is the heart of the novel and her coming of age is the backdrop against which issues of racism, sexism, and classism are explored. Her childhood traumas stretch back farther than even she knows, touching the lives of other women and defining her family in unknown and unspeakable ways.
The book is nearly eight hundred pages long, and I was hooked on every single one of them. The use of DuBois’s own work as a preface to different sections shapes the narrative while the authentic and clear voices of the characters of Wood Place, Chicasetta, and Routledge College—among others—feel like the voices of friends slowly walking you back through history you didn’t know you shared. The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois is a once-in-a-lifetime book, and it belongs alongside other classics like Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Color Purple.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Author||Honoree Fanonne Jeffers|
|Page Count||816 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|