ISB Multicultural Book Club

Black White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self By Rebecca Walker Cover Image
$15.00
Email orders@greenlightbookstore.com for information about this item.
ISBN: 9781573229074
Published: Riverhead Books - January 8th, 2002

October 2023

The Civil Rights movement brought author Alice Walker and lawyer Mel Leventhal together, and in 1969 their daughter, Rebecca, was born. Some saw this unusual copper-colored girl as an outrage or an oddity; others viewed her as a symbol of harmony, a triumph of love over hate. But after her parents divorced, leaving her a lonely only child ferrying between two worlds that only seemed to grow further apart, Rebecca was no longer sure what she represented. In this book, Rebecca Leventhal Walker attempts to define herself as a soul instead of a symbol—and offers a new look at the challenge of personal identity, in a story at once strikingly unique and truly universal.


Stories from the Tenants Downstairs By Sidik Fofana Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982145828
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Scribner - August 1st, 2023

December 2023

At Banneker Terrace, everybody knows everybody, or at least knows of them. Longtime tenants’ lives are entangled together in the ups and downs of the day-to-day, for better or for worse. The neighbors in the unit next door are friends or family, childhood rivals or enterprising business partners. In other words, Harlem is home. But the rent is due, and the clock of gentrification—never far from anyone’s mind—is ticking louder now than ever.

In eight interconnected stories, Sidik Fofana conjures a residential community under pressure. There is Swan, in apartment 6B, whose excitement about his friend’s release from prison jeopardizes the life he’s been trying to lead. Mimi, in apartment 14D, hustles to raise the child she had with Swan, waitressing at Roscoe’s and doing hair on the side. And Quanneisha B. Miles, in apartment 21J, is a former gymnast with a good education who wishes she could leave Banneker for good, but can’t seem to escape the building’s gravitational pull. We root for the tight-knit cast of characters as they weave in and out of one another’s narratives, working to escape their pasts and blaze new paths forward for themselves and the people they love. All the while we brace, as they do, for the challenges of a rapidly shifting future.

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs brilliantly captures the joy and pain of the human experience in this “singular accomplishment from a writer to watch” (Library Journal, starred review).


Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) By Bernardine Evaristo Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802156983
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - November 5th, 2019

February 2024

Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain's colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.

The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London's funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley's former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole's mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter's lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class.

Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.


Here the Whole Time By Vitor Martins, Larissa Helena (Translated by) Cover Image
By Vitor Martins, Larissa Helena (Translated by)
$10.99
ISBN: 9781338839777
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: PUSH - October 4th, 2022

May 2024

Felipe can't wait for winter break: Finally, he'll get some time away from the classmates who tease him incessantly about his weight. But Felipe's plan turns upside down when he learns that Caio, his neighbor from apartment 57, will be staying with him for fifteen days. Which is a problem because (a) Felipe has had a crush on Caio since, well, forever; and (b) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he's going to handle them while sharing a room with his lifelong crush. Suddenly, the days that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) are a gauntlet of every unresolved issue in Felipe's life. But if he can overcome his insecurities, then maybe -- just maybe -- this break won't turn out to be such a disaster after all . . .


How to Think Like a Woman: Four Women Philosophers Who Taught Me How to Love the Life of the Mind By Regan Penaluna Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780802158802
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Grove Press - March 14th, 2023

Fall 2022

From a bold new voice in nonfiction, an exhilarating account of the lives and works of influential 17th and 18th century feminist philosophers Mary Wollstonecraft and her predecessors who have been written out of history, and a searing look at the author's experience of patriarchy and sexism in academia. 

As a young woman growing up in small-town Iowa, Regan Penaluna daydreamed about the big questions: Who are we and what is this strange world we find ourselves in? In college she fell in love with philosophy and chose to pursue it as an academician, the first step, she believed, to becoming a self-determined person living a life of the mind. What Penaluna didn't realize was that the Western philosophical canon taught in American universities, as well as the culture surrounding it, would slowly grind her down through its misogyny, its harassment, its devaluation of women and their intellect. Where were the women philosophers? One day, in an obscure monograph, Penaluna came across Damaris Cudworth Masham's name. The daughter of philosopher Ralph Cudworth and a contemporary of John Locke, Masham wrote about knowledge and God, and the condition of women. Masham's work led Penaluna to other remarkable women philosophers of the era: Mary Astell, who moved to London at age twenty-one and made a living writing philosophy; Catharine Cockburn, a philosopher, novelist, and playwright; and the better-known Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote extensively in defense of women's minds. Together, these women rekindled Penaluna's love of philosophy and awakened her feminist consciousness.In How to Think Like a Woman, Regan Penaluna blends memoir, biography, and criticism to tell the stories of these four women, weaving throughout an alternative history of philosophy as well as her own search for love and truth. Funny, honest, and wickedly intelligent, this is a moving meditation on what philosophy could look like if women were treated equally.


Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist By Judith Heumann, Kristen Joiner Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780807002803
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Beacon Press - February 23rd, 2021

Fall 2022

One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human.

A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn’t built for all of us and of one woman’s activism—from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington—Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann’s lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society.

Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy’s struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a “fire hazard” to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher’s license because of her paralysis, Judy’s actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people.

As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples’ rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann’s memoir about resistance to exclusion invites readers to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.


The Secret Lives of Church Ladies By Deesha Philyaw Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781949199734
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: West Virginia University Press - September 1st, 2020

Fall 2022

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.

There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher’s wife. At forty-two, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta’s “same time next year” arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other.

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

 


Disoriental By Négar Djavadi, Tina Kover (Translator) Cover Image
By Négar Djavadi, Tina Kover (Translator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609454517
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Europa Editions - April 17th, 2018

Fall 2022

At the heart of this sweeping saga of twentieth-century Iran is the unforgettable story of Kimi Sadr-punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, a modern Scheherazade divided between family traditions and her "disorientalization."

Kimi fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twenty-five, she's inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them.

At once a sweeping saga of twentieth-century Iran and an intimate story of a young woman's determination to create a future on her own terms.