Preorder your signed copies of Stamped from the Beginning: A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America,
by author Ibram X. Kendi and illustrator Joel Christian Gill online-only here!
Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith and Brazos Bookstore for a virtual event with author Astrid Roemer to discuss and celebrate the release of her book On a Woman’s Madness. She will be in conversation with writer Megan Giddings.
A classic of queer literature that’s as electrifying today as it was when it originally appeared in 1982, On a Woman’s Madness tells the story of Noenka, a courageous Black woman trying to live a life of her choosing. When her abusive husband of just nine days refuses her request for divorce, Noenka flees her hometown in Suriname, on South America’s tropical northeastern coast, for the capital city of Paramaribo. Unsettled and unsupported, her life in this new place is illuminated by the passionate romances of the present but haunted by society’s expectations and her ancestral past.
Translated into sensuous English for the first time by Lucy Scott, Astrid Roemer’s intimate novel—with its tales of plantation-dwelling snakes, rare orchids, and star-crossed lovers—is a blistering meditation on the cruelties we inflict on those who disobey. Roemer, the first Surinamese winner of the prestigious Dutch Literature Prize, carves out postcolonial Suriname in barbed, resonant fragments. Who is Noenka? Roemer asks us. “I’m Noenka,” she responds resolutely, “which means Never Again.”
Astrid Roemer emigrated from Suriname to the Netherlands in 1966, at the age of 19. She identifies herself as a cosmopolitan writer. Exploring themes of race, gender, family, and identity, her poetic, unconventional prose stands in the tradition of authors such as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. She was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize in 2016, and the three-yearly Dutch Literature Prize (Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren) in 2021.
Moderator Megan Giddings has degrees from University of Michigan and Indiana University. In 2018, she was a recipient of a Barbara Deming Memorial fund grant for feminist fiction. Her novel Lakewood was one of New York Magazine’s 10 best books of 2020, one of NPR’s best books of 2020, a Michigan Notable book for 2021, was a nominee for two NAACP Image Awards, and a finalist for a 2020 LA Times Book Prize in The Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction category. In 2021, she was named one of Indiana University’s 20 under 40. Her second novel The Women Could Fly was named one of The Washington Post’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2022, one of Vulture’s Best Fantasy books of 2022, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She lives in Minneapolis.