2 Books Published by Jaded Ibis Press on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about Finding La Negrita by Natasha Gordon-Chipembere Finding La Negrita

by Natasha Gordon-Chipembere
Jaded Ibis Press (Sep 30, 2022)
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Finding La Negrita is a captivating retelling of the Black Madonna narrative, a story deeply intertwined with Costa Rica’s national and spiritual identity since the 1700s. Natasha Gordon-Chipembere skillfully presents a vivid and intimate portrayal of slavery in Costa Rica, offering a unique perspective that diverges from the plantation bondage experienced in other parts of the Americas.

The story introduces us to Dakarai, a renowned African sculptor who is forced into slavery and separated from his newborn daughter, Jendayi. Bereft of her mother, who died during childbirth on a Middle Passage ship, Dakarai and Jendayi must navigate their grief and strive to build a life in the New World. Finding La Negrita traverses time and space to capture the poignant reunion of Dakarai and Jendayi. As they come together, they face the challenges of a single father raising a determined young girl in an era where the line between freedom and enslavement is precarious.

In the margins of society, unbeknownst to each other, Dakarai and Jendayi embark on the pursuit of forbidden loves that defy the constraints imposed by colonial society. Yet, as they explore these dangerous paths, they are forced to reckon with the costs and consequences they may bring upon themselves and each other.

Click for more detail about As a River by Sion Dayson As a River

by Sion Dayson
Jaded Ibis Press (Sep 03, 2019)
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It’s 1977. Bannen, Georgia, nestled amid pine forests, is rife with contrasts: natural beauty and racial tension, small-town charm and long-term poverty. An unsettling place for a Black man who fled it years ago and has since traveled the world.

But Greer Michaels has to come home, to care for his dying mother.

And that means he’ll have to reckon with the devastating secret that drove him out in the first place.

Greer’s story is intertwined with those of the people around him: His mother, Elizabeth, who once had a dazzling singing voice but fell silent years ago. Their neighbor Esse, who has turned to religion after her own traumatic past. Esse’s teenaged daughter, Ceiley, an insatiable reader with a burning curiosity about life beyond Bannen’s town limits.

Written in spare and lyrical prose, As a River moves back and forth across decades, evoking the mysterious play of memory as it touches upon shame and redemption, despair and connection. An exploration of family secrets rooted in the turbulent history of the segregated South, As a River is ultimately about our struggles to understand each other, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.