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Episode 65 - Dionne Irving

Photo Credit: Myriam Nicodemus

Long after our interview was over, Dionne Irving and I continued to talk about Black motherhood and other things we have in common. Talking to her was easy, and it felt like I was chatting with an old friend. I hope her openness comes across in this week's episode of ReadMore.

Dionne is a child of Jamaican immigrants who grew up in Toronto. Today, she calls the United States home. She's a professor at Notre Dame.

Her first novel, Quint, was published in 2021. Her short story collection, The Islands, was just published on November 1.

You can catch up with her on Saturday, November 19, and Sunday, November 20 at the Miami Book Fair. On Saturday, she'll be on a panel celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jamaica's independence. On Sunday, she'll be on a panel with former ReadMore guest Meng Jin.

Dionne's short story collection deals with a lot of thorny issues such as what it means to be a woman, ambivalence or apprehension about becoming a mother, and the notion that there is only one right way to be a woman.

All of the characters in the collection are either Jamaican immigrants or the children of Jamaican immigrants. The stories span in time from the 1950s to the present day and take place in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Panama.

During our interview, Dionne reveals...

- Which story is hard for her to read in public because it's so close to her heart

- Why she feels policing of behavior is such a big aspect of immigrants' lives

- The childhood experience that led to her becoming a storyteller

You can listen to the episode here and help Dionne and the show by purchasing The Islands on our site.

The first listener to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter to tell us the two books that taught Dionne that novels about Black women mattered will win a free copy of The Islands.

If you've won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible. If you and I ever stood in line together to get free Ben & Jerry's, you're probably ineligible. But we'll always have those 90s Franklin Street memories.


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