WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 AT 7PM

IN THE COUNTRY OF WOMEN: A MEMOIR

BY SUSAN STRAIGHT

"To understand my daughters and their sisterhood, you have to know the women, and sisters, who came before."

In the Country of Women is a valuable social history and a personal narrative that reads like a love song to America and indomitable women. In inland Southern California, near the desert and the Mexican border, Susan Straight, a self-proclaimed book nerd, and Dwayne Sims, an African American basketball player, started dating in high school. After college, they married and drove to Amherst, Massachusetts, where Straight met her teacher and mentor, James Baldwin, who encouraged her to write. Once back in Riverside, at driveway barbecues and fish fries with the large, close-knit Sims family, Straight―and eventually her three daughters―heard for decades the stories of Dwayne’s female ancestors. Some women escaped violence in post-slavery Tennessee, some escaped murder in Jim Crow Mississippi, and some fled abusive men. Straight’s mother-in-law, Alberta Sims, is the descendant at the heart of this memoir. Susan’s family, too, reflects the hardship and resilience of women pushing onward―from Switzerland, Canada, and the Colorado Rockies to California.

A Pakistani word, biraderi, is one Straight uses to define a complex system of kinship and clan―those who become your family. An entire community helped raise her daughters. Of her three girls, now grown and working in museums and the entertainment industry, Straight writes, “The daughters of our ancestors carry in their blood at least three continents. We are not about borders. We are about love and survival.”

Susan Straight was born in Riverside, California, where she still lives with her family.  She has published eight novels, including I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots (1992), Highwire Moon (2001), Take One Candle, and Between Heaven and Here (2013). She has been a Finalist for the National Book Award, the National Magazine Award, and the SCIBA Award. She received the Edgar for Best Mystery Story, the O Henry Prize, the Lannan Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the LA Times Book Prize. 

Here's the thing...

If you're getting a book signed at Chevalier's, please purchase it at Chevalier's.

Our events are free, and we welcome anyone and everyone to enjoy a night of riveting intellectual discussion. We are, however, a small independent bookstore, and we rely on event revenues to continue hosting them. So, if you're going to get a book signed,please purchase that book here. This way, we can keep the spectacular nights coming.

xoxo, 

Chevalier's 

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