Gone like yesterday : a novel

by Williams, Janelle M.,

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: On Order 8 copies
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On Order (8)
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Summary
A lyrical debut novel that asks what we owe to our families, what we owe to our ancestors, and what we owe to ourselves. Janelle M. Williams's Gone Like Yesterday employs magical realism to explore the majestic and haunting experience of being a Black woman in today's America.

Gone Like Yesterday follows two Black women--Zahra, a listless college prep coach, and Sammie, a teenage girl and budding activist soon off to college--who are drawn to each other through the songs of gypsy moths. Gypsy moths have been singing the songs of Zahra's ancestors to her for years, so when Zahra realizes that Sammie might be a moth person too, their paths become intertwined.

Then, the unthinkable happens: Zahra's brother, Derrick, goes missing. Derrick has always been different--sensitive and connected to the spiritual world, he has been drifting from Zahra and her family for some time. But this time feels different. Zahra is panicked that he may really be gone for good, lost to her forever.

Zahra can't let that happen. So, she, along with Sammie, embarks on a road trip from New York to Atlanta, Zahra's hometown, in search of Zahra's brother, but also to uncover just what the moths and their ancestors want with them, and what to do about their individual and collective futures.

Sharp and wholly original, Gone Like Yesterday is a novel about family and legacy but also a literary exploration of racial identity, self, and what it means to be found.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Williams melds a ghost story with a frank reflection on the complexities of Black identity in her vivid if didactic debut. Zahra, a college prep coach living in pre-pandemic Harlem, helps wealthy high school seniors craft essays for their applications to Ivy League schools. She's plagued by gypsy moths that she and her brother Derrick have seen and heard since their childhood in Atlanta (not only do they swarm, they sing a jumble of rhythm and blues, Afrofuturism, trap, and other genres). When Zahra, eager to "help someone whose essay doesn't reek of privilege," agrees to coach Sammie, the niece of an Uber driver and one of the few Black kids at a prep school where well-meaning teachers praise the work of Zadie Smith and Colson Whitehead but fidget when discussing race, she discovers that the moths flock to Sammie, too. Derrick's disappearance, Zahra's road trip with Sammie to find him in Atlanta, and an old house groaning with phantoms fill out the third act. Though a few of Zahra's monologues lack nuance, Williams still pulls off an elegant study of Sammie and Zahra's attempts to connect with their roots. This is worth a look. Agent: Cora Markowitz, Georges Borchardt Agency. (Feb.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects African American women -- Fiction.
Siblings -- Fiction.
Missing persons -- Fiction.
Automobile travel -- Fiction.
Moths -- Fiction.
Magic realist fiction.
Publisher [New York, New York] :Tiny Reparations Books,2023
Language English
Description 355 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780593471630
0593471636
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