Episode 34: Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Afia Atakora, Curtis Brown Literary Agency

“Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife; and their master’s daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.
Magnificently written, brilliantly researched, richly imagined, Conjure Women moves back and forth in time to tell the haunting story of Rue, Varina, and May Belle, their passions and friendships, and the lengths they will go to save themselves and those they love.”

(Description from Penguin Random House.)

The Spoilers are back after a long hiatus, anxious to take on this compelling novel by Afia Atakora. Right from the git go they have a lot of questions to answer, but Crystal, Anita, and Todd eventually arrive at an acceptable understanding of this rich novel of slavery and the ties that bind together the enslaved and the enslavers on this plantation: when do they break and when do they hold fast?

Mentioned in the Show

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

What We're Watching, Reading -- What's Making Us Happy 🙂

  • Crystal — Anna Malaika Tubbs, The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a NationMarried at First SightReady to Love; Post episode discussion in the ‘Mote Control’ Room on Clubhouse
  • Todd — Richard Wright, Savage Holiday Station 11 (HBO Max)
  • Anita: Louise, Erdrich, The Sentence (and a second of Station 11)

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