In preparation for what’s certain to be an excellent event featuring Tracy Chiles McGhee at Sankofa Cafe on December 17, 2016 at 4PM, we are proud to present our first installation of ‘Author Favorites.’ In this series we ask authors of our favorite African American Literature to list their favorite books. Our goal is to present you with a list of recommended books curated by the very authors you enjoy yourself.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God): It’s no secret that Zora Neale Hurston is my favorite author. I adore Mama Zora, as I call her, not just for her prolific writing, both rich in culture and deft and beautiful in language but also for her independence and boldness as a literary activist. I deeply appreciate her dedication to recording and sharing African American cultural gems and stories that might have otherwise been lost to us. You can find a tribute to her in every room in my home.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye): Ms. Morrison’s in-depth exploration of the African-American experience through powerful storytelling and richly drawn, unforgettable characters such as Pecola in the Bluest Eye gives me literary chills; her genius command and appreciation of language informs and inspires me as a writer. Her brilliant and moving acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature is absolute music to my ears.
J. California Cooper (Some Soul to Keep): I love me some J. California Cooper. Her deeply flawed yet beautiful characters suffer and survive small towns and small minds with grit and grace. Her storytelling and truth telling gifts are enduring. I am grateful to Ms. Cooper for acting as an ancestral master teacher while I develop my voice as a writer and bring forth my stories on a porch that she so lovingly built.
About the Author
Tracy Chiles McGhee is an award-winning, multi-genre writer and the debut author of the acclaimed novel Melting the Blues. Kirkus Reviews describes the book as “A brave, musical story rich with Southern history.” Kayti Nika Raet for Readers’ Favorite declares the book” A tale full of redemption and love … A fascinating, expertly written debut.“
McGhee is the Winner of the 2016 Jessie Redmond Fauset Book Award in the category of First Fiction and the 2016 BIG Greater Orange County Chapter/Amber Communications Group, Inc. 4th Annual Literary Award. She received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Award in the category of Mainstream Literary Fiction. She was a Finalist in the 2014 Faulkner – Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in the Novel-in-Progress category. In addition, she received an Honorable Mention for the Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award in the 2014 International Literary Awards presented by Salem College.
McGhee’s writings have appeared in a variety of publications such as the bestselling anthology “Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection”, “Reflections Literary and Arts Magazine”, “BOMB Magazine”, and “Tidal Basin Review”. She is the co-founder of the Literacy Empowerment Action Project, a nonprofit that provides innovative literacy, school improvement, and youth development programming to expand educational opportunities globally. In addition, she is an Ambassador for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. McGhee graduated from Catholic University Law School and Georgetown University and currently lives in Washington, DC.