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Pomegranate by Helen Elaine Lee
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Pomegranate

A Novel

$28.34

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 12 hours 40 minutes
Language English
Narrators Machelle Williams & Janina Edwards

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LONGLISTED FOR THE 2024 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION

The acclaimed author of The Serpent’s Gift returns with this “deep and beautiful” (Jaqueline Woodson, New York Times bestselling author) story about a queer Black woman working to stay clean, pull her life together, and heal after being released from prison.

Ranita Atwater is “getting short.”

She is almost done with her four-year sentence for opiate possession at Oak Hills Correctional Center. Three years sober, she is determined to stay clean and regain custody of her two children. Ranita is regaining her freedom, but she’s leaving behind her lover Maxine, who has inspired her to imagine herself and the world differently.

My name is Ranita, and I’m an addict, she has said again and again at recovery meetings. But who else is she? Who might she choose to become? Now she must steer clear of the temptations that have pulled her down, while atoning for her missteps and facing old wounds. With a fierce, smart, and sometimes funny voice, Ranita reveals how rocky and winding the path to wellness is for a Black woman, even as she draws on family, memory, faith, and love in order to choose life.

Pomegranate is a complex portrayal of queer Black womanhood and marginalization in America from an author “working at the height of her powers” (Tayari Jones, New York Times bestselling). In lyrical and precise prose, Helen Elaine Lee paints a humane and unflinching portrait of the devastating effects of incarceration and addiction, and of one woman’s determination to tell her story.

Helen Elaine Lee was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She served on the PEN New England board and on its Freedom to Write committee and volunteered with its Prison Creative Writing Program, which she helped to establish. She is a professor in Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT. She is the author of three novels: The Serpent’s GiftWater Marked, and Pomegranate. Find out more at HelenElaineLee.net.  

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Reviews

"Both narrators capture Ranita's fear and sarcasm, along with the softer side she frequently keeps hidden. Listeners will find themselves invested in Ranita's determination to forge a new life." "Casting two distinct voices brilliantly underscores Ranita's rebirth; Williams and Edwards masterfully relay then and now." Expand reviews
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