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Episode 54 - Kaitlyn Greenidge

Photo by Syreeta McFadden

Kaitlyn Greenidge has done it again. Her new novel, Libertie, is a thought-provoking look at what it means for a Black woman to be free.

Kaitlyn first appeared on ReadMore back in 2016 after the release of her first novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, one of the most unique books I've ever read. (If you missed that show, be sure to check it out!)

Libertie is primarily set in Brooklyn during the Reconstruction Era. Libertie Sampson and her mother, Dr. Cathy Sampson, were both born free. But Libertie feels stifled by her mother who wants her to follow in her footsteps and become a doctor. When a man from Haiti proposes, she jumps at the chance to marry him and gain what she hopes will be some measure of freedom. After their wedding, the couple moves to Haiti, and she feels like a captive in his family's home.

The novel was inspired by the life of Dr. Susan Smith McKinney-Steward, one of the first Black women in the United States to become a doctor.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and had a great time talking to Kaitlyn about all of the issues it explores.

Interview Highlights:

Kaitlyn reveals....

- why she wanted to write about the weighty topic of freedom

- what she learned about passing while conducting research for this novel (Dr. Sampson is light enough to pass and sometimes uses that to her advantage.)

- why it was so important to her that some of her characters be queer

Click here to listen to the episode. You can also help Kaitlyn and the show by purchasing the book here.

During the show, Kaitlyn mentioned a writer she'd love to have dinner with. The first person to tell us that writer's name on Twitter or Facebook will win a free copy of Libertie.

If you have won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible for this contest. If you and I ever walked from Morrison to Chase together, you're probably ineligible. ReadMore doesn't have a friends and family plan. But we'll always have those South Campus memories.


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