9780804121026

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

Mathis, Ayana

ISBN 10: 0804121028 / 0-8041-2102-8
ISBN 13: 9780804121026
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection

The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. 

A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family.

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.  Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave.  She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream.

Ayana Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is her first novel.


Review:

Exclusive: Amazon Asks Ayana Mathis

Oprah with Ayana Mathis, author of Book Club 2.0's December 2012 selection, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.

Q. Describe Oprah's Book Club 2.0® in one sentence (or, better yet, in 10 words).

A. An impassioned and powerful declaration: Books matter.

Q. What's on your bedside table or Kindle?

A. I'm often reading three or four things at a time, so I invent odd categories to keep them straight. The bedside table is home to read before-bed-but-not-on-the-subway books (heavy hardcovers like Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies), mysteries/thrillers (like Robert Wilson's A Small Death in Lisbon) and things I ought to read but are slooow going (I am now on my fifth month with Augustine's The City of God).

Q. Top three to five favorite books of all time?

A.Very hard to answer! Beloved by Toni Morrison; The Known World by Edward P. Jones; Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson; The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner; Cane by Jean Toomer.

Q. Important book you never read?

A. Ulysses. And also Portrait of a Lady, which shames me.

Q. Book that changed your life (or book that made you want to become a writer)?

A. I wrote throughout my childhood and thought I wanted to be a poet, but that was more a fantasy than a goal. I was 15 when someone gave me Sonia Sanchez's, I've Been a Woman—that book was a revolution in my life. I realized that I actually could be a poet, that there were black women who were writing--right then, in that moment.

Q. Memorable author moment?

A. This one? I'm so new to being an author (distinctly different from the solitary enterprise of being a writer) that every moment is unforgettable and stunning.

Q. What talent or superpower would you like to have (not including flight or invisibility)?

A. Anything Wonder Woman can do! Roping bad guys with a lasso of truth, deflecting bullets with my bracelets! Of course, I'd trade all of that for mindreading.

Q. What are you currently stressed about or psyched about?

A. I'm psyched about writing some essays on the nature of faith and belief. Writing essays is a very different process from writing fiction. I'm having a hard time with them, which is incredibly exhilarating and incredibly stressful.

Q. What's your most treasured possession?

A. My grandfather's diaries. He kept them secretly for over fifty years and gave them to me a few years before he died.

Q. Pen envy--book you wish you'd written?

A. Rita Dove's Thomas and Beulah or Yusef Komunyakaa's Magic City.

Q. Who's your current author crush?

A. Eudora Welty. There's never a wasted word in her short stories; so much power and meaning packed into a few short pages.

Q. What's your favorite method of procrastination? Temptation? Vice?

A. That's an embarrassingly long list: clothes shopping online, returning clothes I've bought online, cooking elaborate time-consuming dinners, farmer's markets, Netflix Instant (grrr, it's ruining my life).

Q. What do you collect?

A. Ways to procrastinate.

Q. Best piece of fan mail you ever got?

A. Oh dear. I've never gotten any. I'm feeling a little inadequate now.

Q. What's next for you?

A. Trying to find a way into my second novel, the idea is there but the rest isn't. Right now it's a bit like stumbling around in a dark room.

Review

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: Random House Large Print, 2012. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Praise for The Twelve Tribes of Hattie "Piercing.Ms. Mathis writes with uncommon narrative authority in The Twelve Tribes of Hattie , conjuring the lives of the Shepherd family with extraordinary psychological precision.Ms. Mathis has a gift for imbuing her characters'' stories with an epic dimension that recalls Toni Morrison''s writing, and her sense of time and place and family will remind some of Louise Erdrich, but her elastic voice is thoroughly her own - both lyrical and unsparing, meditative and visceral, and capable of giving the reader nearly complete access to her characters'' minds and hearts.Astonishingly powerful." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times , "10 Favorite Books of 2012" "The opening pages of Ayana''s debut took my breath away. I can''t remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison." --Oprah Winfrey "Lush yet deliberate.elegant and sure.a complex and deeply humane story of a mother''s ferocious love and failures at loving.In the vivid specificity of Mathis''s tale, she is telling a universal story, and it is profoundly consoling." --Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe "Mathis never loses touch with the geography and the changing national culture through which her characters move. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is infused with African Americans'' conflicted attitudes about the North and the South during the Great Migration.In the long family arc that Mathis describes, the painful life of one remarkably resilient woman is placed against the hopes and struggles of millions of African Americans who held this nation to its promise.One of the best [novels] of 2012." --Ron Charles, The Washington Post "Raw and intimate.a brutal and poetic allegory of a family beset by tribulations.Mathis tempers the more operatic elements with tenderness and knowing glimpses into the human heart struggling to love.deeply felt." --Isabel Wilkerson, The New York Times Book Review "Mathis renders her characters with vivid strokes, and, like her heroine, she is both compassionate and unsentimental about hardscrabble lives." -- The New Yorker "A triumph.a stone-cold stunner of a novel.magnificently structured, and a sentence-by-sentence treasure - lyric, direct, and true." --David Daley, Salon "The influence of Toni Morrison will be evident in this remarkable page-turner of a novel that spans decades and covers dreams lost, found, and denied." --Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune , "Editor''s Choice" "This brutal, illuminating version of the twentieth century African-American experience belongs alongside those of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Zora Neale Hurston." --Marion Winik, Newsday "A poetic novel.that focuses less on American progress than on the small but powerful moments that are strung together, like beads on a necklace, to make one long strand of a family''s history.Like Toni Morrison, the author has a gift for showing just how heavily history weighs on families, as a learned sense of hope or despair gets passed down from parents to children and dreams die little by little, generation after generation. But if the endless heartbreaks sound melodramatic, Mathis earns your sympathy by making the rare moments of happiness feel simple and true." -- Entertainment Weekly , Grade: A- "Visceral, heart-wrenching.Mathis brings considerable empathic gifts to the detailed realistic snapshots in Hattie''s family album, and to the sense of displacement that has contributed to generations of troubles and travails." --Jane Ciabattari, San Francisco Chronicle "Full of conflict and emotion.all of the chapters have moments of grace, despair, and hope and different characters will likely resonate with different readers. The range of emotion and experience demonstrates how a family can stretch out in every direction and then be pulled up by the taut cords of love, responsibility, hatred, hope, and support." --Sessil. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0804121028

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Book Description: Random House Large Print Publishing, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. large type edition. 234 x 155 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The newest Oprah s Book Club 2.0 selection. The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family. In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last--glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing novel, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780804121026

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Book Description: Random House Large Print. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0804121028 Traces the story of Great Migration-era mother Hattie Shepherd, who in spite of poverty and a dysfunctional husband uses love and Southern remedies to raise nine children and prepare them for the realities of a harsh world. Bookseller Inventory # 16252077

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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. large type edition. 234 x 155 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The newest Oprah s Book Club 2.0 selection. The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family. In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last--glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing novel, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780804121026

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