On Sale: 04/06/2021
On Sale: 04/06/2021
About the Book
Now in paperback, New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins's fiction debut, an electrifying novel for fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jacqueline Woodson, that brings to life one powerful and enigmatic family in a tale rife with secrets, betrayal, intrigue, and magic.
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.
"Caul Baby is a deeply inventive meditation on survival and inheritance. Morgan writes about the intricacies of Black motherhood in a way that is tender and at times, magic." - Raven Leilani, New York Times bestselling author of Luster
“This magical novel brings together the weight of tradition and the power of family.” - NBC News
“A debut novel that blends family drama with magic.” - Time Magazine
“A fascinating, of-the-moment story about the intersection of motherhood, power, and community.” - Real Simple
“The astounding talent behind nonfiction must-reads This Will Be My Undoing and Wandering in Strange Lands turns to fiction with Caul Baby. . . . An exhilarating tale of family, belonging, and bodies, this promises to be one of the most exciting releases of the year.” - Elle
“A multilayered reflection of contemporary dilemmas with a touch of magic realism. . . . Readers are taken through a spectrum of emotions with a satisfying payoff. On the heels of her excellent memoir Wandering in Strange Lands, Jerkins solidifies herself as one of our guiding literary lights.” - Booklist (starred review)
"A captivating story on the bonds between mothers and daughters and a powerful meditation on secrets, gentrification, family legacy, and more. A must-read.?" - Hey Alma
"Rich. . . . Jerkins effectively blends folk legend with contemporary details. . . It's vividly conceived, and the strong plot will carry readers to the end." - Publishers Weekly
Wandering in Strange Lands: "Wandering in Strange Lands intertwines segments of past and present travel, as a reminder that the past is present in the U.S." - O, the Oprah Magazine
This Will Be My Undoing: “Without turning linguistic or lyrical cartwheels, Jerkins lucidly articulates social dynamics that have dictated the realities of American black women for centuries…. Indeed, [This Will Be My Undoing] is a book I wish everyone in this country would read.” - New York Times Book Review
This Will Be My Undoing: “In Morgan Jerkins’s remarkable debut essay collection, This Will Be My Undoing, she is a deft cartographer of black girlhood and womanhood. From one essay to the next, Jerkins weaves the personal with the public and political in compelling, challenging ways. Her prodigious intellect and curiosity are on full display throughout this outstanding collection. The last line of the book reads, ‘You should’ve known I was coming,’ and indeed, in this, too, Jerkins is prescient. With this collection, she shows us that she is unforgettably here, a writer to be reckoned with.” - Roxane Gay
- ISBN: 9780062873170
- ISBN 10: 0062873172
- Imprint: Harper
- On Sale: 04/06/2021
- Pages: 352
- List Price: $14.99
- BISAC1 : FICTION / African American / Contemporary Women
- BISAC2 : FICTION / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
- BISAC3 : FICTION / Magical Realism