Red at the Bone

Author(s): Jacqueline Woodson


An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

It's 2001, the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress.

But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer, Melody's mother, for her own ceremony - a celebration that ultimately never took place. Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives - even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be. 


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Longlisted for The Women's Prize for Fiction 2020


''Woodson explores class, race and death with unflinching honesty and emotional depth... She manages to remember what cannot be documented, to suggest what cannot be said'' Washington Post

''You can smell the bubble gum on Woodson's characters breath and feel their lips as they brush against your ear... The present, we are repeatedly reminded, is no balm for the wounds of the past'' New York Times

''Woodson writes lyrically about what it means to be a girl in America, and what it means to be black in America'' Huffington Post

''One of the quietly great masters of our time'' Kirkus

''Woodson does for young black girls what short story master Alice Munro does for poor rural ones: she imbues their everyday lives with significance'' Elle

''Woodson makes us want to reach into the mirror she holds up and make the words and the worlds she explores our own'' New York Times Book Review

''A gorgeous writer... Lyrical prose, really, really beautiful'' Emma Straub

''A master storyteller'' Angela Flournoy

''Jacqueline Woodson has a poet's soul and a poet's eye for image and ear for lyrical language... I'll go anywhere she leads me'' Naomi Jackson  

General Fields

  • : 9781474616447
  • : Orion Publishing Group, Limited
  • : Weidenfeld and Nicolson
  • : 0.3
  • : February 2019
  • : October 2019
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jacqueline Woodson
  • : Paperback
  • : 1910
  • : 208