Wed. April 07 at 6PM (pt) | 8PM (ct)
CAUL BABY: A NOVEL
by MORGAN JERKINS
in conversation with Rachel Cargle
& Tyrese Coleman
Following the critical and popular success of her first two books of nonfiction, New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins returns with her electrifying fiction debut, CAUL BABY, a family saga filled with secrets, betrayal, intrigue, and magic.
Chevalier’s is partnering with HarperCollins on this exciting launch event for Morgan Jerkins’ fiction debut Caul Baby. To join us, please make sure to buy a signed copy of Caul Baby. Ticket holders will receive a login link for a week before the event and then immediately prior to the event.
Laila desperately wants to become a mother, but each of her previous pregnancies has ended in heartbreak. This time has to be different, so she turns to the Melancons, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power.
When a deal for Laila to acquire a piece of caul falls through, she is heartbroken, but when the child is stillborn, she is overcome with grief and rage. What she doesn't know is that a baby will soon be delivered in her family--by her niece, Amara, an ambitious college student--and delivered to the Melancons to raise as one of their own. Hallow is special: she's born with a caul, and their matriarch, Maman, predicts the girl will restore the family's prosperity.
Growing up, Hallow feels that something in her life is not right. Did Josephine, the woman she calls mother, really bring her into the world? Why does her cousin Helena get to go to school and roam the streets of New York freely while she's confined to the family's decrepit brownstone?
As the Melancons' thirst to maintain their status grows, Amara, now a successful lawyer running for district attorney, looks for a way to avenge her longstanding grudge against the family. When mother and daughter cross paths, Hallow will be forced to decide where she truly belongs.
Engrossing, unique, and page-turning, Caul Baby illuminates the search for familial connection, the enduring power of tradition, and the dark corners of the human heart.
Morgan Jerkins is the author of Wandering in Strange Lands and the New York Times bestseller This Will Be My Undoing. Jerkins is a visiting professor at Columbia University and a Forbes 30 Under 30 leader in media, and her short-form work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Elle, Esquire, and the Guardian, among many other outlets. She is based in Harlem.
Rachel Cargle is an Akron, Ohio born public academic, writer and philanthropic innovator. Her upcoming book with The Dial Press, Penguin Random House, I Don’t Want Your Love and Light, examines the intersection of race, feminism, and womanhood and how we are in relationship with ourselves and one another. Rachel is the Founder and President of The Loveland Foundation, Inc., her non-profit offering free therapy to Black women and girls. Rachel recently launched The Great Unlearn, a self-paced, self-priced community utilizing Rachel’s monthly curated social syllabi. As a gift to her younger self, Rachel created Elizabeth’s Bookshop & Writing Centre, currently an online independent bookstore and innovative literacy center designed to amplify, celebrate and honor the work of writers who are often excluded from traditional cultural, social and academic canons. Rachel has been featured on TED X and Red Table Talk, is a regular contributor to Harper’s Bazaar and has been featured in The Washington Post, Glamour Magazine UK, Essence magazine, Refinery 29, Forbes and The New Yorker Magazine.
in conversation with
TYRESE COLEMAN is the author of How to Sit, a 2019 Pen Open Book Award finalist published with Mason Jar Press in 2018. She is also the writer of the forthcoming book, Spectacle, with One World, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Writer, wife, mother, attorney, and writing instructor, she is a contributing editor at Split Lip Magazine and occasionally teaches at American University. Her essays and stories have appeared in several publications and noted in Best American Essays and the Pushcart Anthology. She is an alumni of the Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University. Find her at tyresecoleman.com or on twitter @tylachelleco.