Due to the coronavirus threat, our April events have been cancelled. We will reschedule at a later date.
Join us on Thursday, April 30th at 7 pm for an author talk with Julie Munemo, whose new memoir is The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy.
When a stack of pulpy paperback novels written by her long-dead father landed on Julia McKenzie Munemo's kitchen table, she-a white woman-had been married to a black man from Zimbabwe for six years and their first son was a toddler. Her alarm at the covers, which promised interracial pornography set during slavery-some of it even taking place in Africa-was matched only by her shame about her father's secret career. All she'd previously known about him was that he'd suffered from depression and delusions and had killed himself when she was five. So she did what she always did with details about her dad, and hid the books from herself, and from her growing mixed-race family. But then, a decade later, when police shootings of African American men were more and more in the public eye, she realized that understanding her own legacy seemed like the only way to begin to understand what was happening in her country. The Book Keeper is equal parts love story, family interrogation, and racial reckoning as Munemo comes to terms with her whiteness, and with her history.
Jim Shepard has called it “a fiercely felt memoir about family shame and the transformative power of love even as it’s also an ongoing meditation on privilege and race in twenty-first century America.”
Julia McKenzie Munemo went to Bard College before earning a master's in education at Harvard. After building a career as a freelance writer, she earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.