Enjoy 50% off select gifts and specialty foods at our Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale, July 31 thru August, while supplies last!

Caul Baby: A Novel

Caul Baby: A Novel cover

“The true strength of this book has a profound impact: in conveying the life-giving and life-sustaining power of Black women’s bodies, and the blood relationships between them. . . . The women Jerkins creates do not need men or any other outsiders to rescue them; they rescue themselves.” New York Times Book Review

New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins makes her fiction debut with this 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. 

Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Time, BuzzFeed, Parade, O: The Oprah Magazine, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Ms. Magazine, Marie Claire, Goodreads, Lit Hub, and Electric Literature, among others

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.

Morgan Jerkins is the author of Wandering in Strange Lands and the New York Times bestseller This Will Be My Undoing and a Senior Culture Editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated. Jerkins is a visiting professor at Columbia University and a Forbes 30 Under 30 leader in media, and her short-form work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Elle, Esquire, and the Guardian, among many other outlets. She is based in Harlem. 

ISBN: 9780062873088

ISBN-10: 9780062873088

Publisher: Harper

Publication Date: 04/06/2021 - 12:00am

On Sale: 04/06/2021 - 12:00am

Pages: 352

Language: English

Categories

Fiction / African American / Women

Fiction / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

Fiction / Magical Realism

More by Morgan Jerkins

  • Pre-Order Now Badge
    Caul Baby: A Novel Cover Image
  • Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image
  • Caul Baby Lib/E Cover Image
  • Caul Baby Cover Image
  • Caul Baby Cover Image
  • Caul Baby: A Novel Cover Image
  • Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image