As always, thank you for reading, sharing, reviewing.
Called “probably the most beautifully written and the most moving African-American autobiography since Maya Angelou’s I Know why the Caged Bird Sings” by critic Arnold Rampersad when it was published in 1991, Black Ice has been read, loved, and taught widely ever since. Click here for the publisher’s Teaching Guide. Kelly Writers House at UPenn let me record an audio version that's available on their site and as an Apple podcast.
A young woman with two of her three children “escapes from her owner while traveling through Philadelphia and uses the Underground Railroad to find freedom, reclaiming her voice and life.” That’s how this searing novel, based on a real-life escape in 1855, was described in the first-ever One Book, One Philadelphia. Available in paper, Audiobook, and Kindle.
Begun as stories for Cary's own children, this collection, from the records of UGRR conductor William Still, lets young readers experience the brilliant determination of enslaved people most of us have never heard of. (Teachers click below for a curriculum guide written by historian and educator Jacqueline Wiggins. Contact me for a teacher's review copy at email@example.com.)
Summertime comes around every year, and everyone needs a new, vintage girlfriend book sometimes. Because it's Cary, this one's Philly-style: row houses, Odunde festival, church and state, addiction, recovery, loyalty, betrayal.
Writing about Cary’s last novel, readers and reviewers repeat the following words: “absorbing, moving, compelling, complex, mature.” In Essence magazine Patrik Henry Bass, now an Amistad Senior Editor, called the book “a triumph” and a “rare feat”: a “juicy family saga filled with historical and cultural context, tied together with the assured hand of a literary craftsman.”