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A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
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A Kind of Freedom

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

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Length 8 hours 12 minutes
Language English
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Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. Her family inhabits the upper echelon of black society, and when she falls for no-name Renard, she is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves.

In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter Jackie is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband’s drug addiction. Just as she comes to terms with his abandoning the family, he returns, ready to resume their old life. Jackie must decide if the promise of her husband is worth the near certainty that he will leave again.

Jackie’s son T. C. loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He finds something hypnotic about training the seedlings, testing the levels, trimming the leaves, and drying the buds. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn’t survive the storm, and in its wake he was changed too. Now, fresh out of a four-month stint for possession with the intent to distribute, he decides to start over―until an old friend convinces him to stake his new beginning on one last deal.

For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants. A Kind of Freedom is an urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton studied creative writing at Dartmouth and law at the University of California, Berkeley. A recipient of the Lombard fellowship, she spent a year in the Dominican Republic working for a civil-rights organization and writing her first manuscript, A Kind of Freedom, which received an honorable mention in the Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest. Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in Grey Sparrow Journal, Limestone Journal, and Broad! magazine, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Kevin Kenerly, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, earned a BA at Olivet College. A longtime member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he has acted in more than twenty seasons, playing dozens of roles.

Bahni Turpin has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, and Cold Case. Her film credits include Brokedown Palace and Crossroads. She has won numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and three prestigious Audie Awards.

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. She made her on-screen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.

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Reviews

“This luminous and assured first novel shines an unflinching, compassionate light on three generations of a black family in New Orleans, emphasizing endurance more than damage.”

“Sexton subtly lays bare the ever-present societal forces at work to undermine black success and family.”

“The story moves through three generations of a black family, each represented by a character whose sections are delivered by three accomplished narrators. Bahni Turpin gives us Evelyn…Evelyn and Renard’s daughter marries a man who loses his job and becomes addicted to crack cocaine. Adenrele Ojo delivers these sections, her voice filled with anguish and dashed hope. Meanwhile, Kevin Kenerly’s mellow, resonant voice gives us a young man struggling to get off drugs and become a fitting father to his own infant son.”

“Narrator Bahni Turpin lays the foundation for the audiobook as Evelyn…Sexton and her narrators keep this family saga moving from hope to heartache and back again.”

“Powerful…Despite the struggles, A Kind of Freedom glimmers with hope.”

“An urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.”

“A novel about three generations of a New Orleans family, cut back and forth so that each generation can whisper in the other’s ears, beautifully intimate and heartbreaking, and also a portrait of America.”

“Being able to capture seventy years of New Orleans history and the emotional changes in one family in such a short book is a testament to Sexton’s powers of descriptive restraint.”

“This family is worth every minute of a reader’s time.”

“Shows us that hard work does not guarantee success and that progress doesn’t always move in a straight line…Well-crafted—and altogether timely.”

“A fresh take on the family novel, telling each generation’s stories together…The three narrators give each generation its own unique voice and point of view.”

“An elegant, captivating, and generous debut novel…about how our choices are indelibly influenced by our familial histories, whether we’re aware or not, and how the present connects to the past…Demonstrates the complex web of fate…multifaceted and beautiful.”

“A fresh and unflinching portrait of African American life…Vividly imagined and boldly told, A Kind of Freedom is a book for our time. A fierce and courageous debut.”

“A brilliant mosaic of an African American family and a love song to New Orleans. Her characters are all of us, America’s family, written with deep insight and devastating honesty but also with grace and beauty. Wilkerson’s stunning debut illuminates the journey of sisters and the generations they bear.”

“A compassionately told story of four generations in one American family who endure the unpredictable challenges of our rapidly changing society. Bound together through blood ties and love, Sexton’s keenly drawn characters sweep you into a mesmerizing cascade of loss and triumph.”

“Interweaves generations of parent-child relations to reveal, with sharp insight, how promise and possibility…[are] shaped by the limits to freedom.”

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