Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, in conversation with Richard Wolinsky. Recorded in January 2013.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie revolves around the matriarch of a black family of the Great Migration and her children and grandchildren, and was an Oprah Book Club selection. From the New York Times review: “Hattie Shepherd, the title character of Ayana Mathis’s piercing debut novel, is at once a tragic heroine with mythic dimensions and an entirely recognizable mother and wife trying to make ends meet. Her story, set in 20th-century Philadelphia, is one of terrible loss and grief and survival, a story of endurance in the face of disappointment, heartbreak and harrowing adversity.” This was a debut novel.