Authors: Fall 2022

Monarch Book Recommendations

Damien M. Sojoyner
Joy & Pain

A poignant account of how the carceral state shapes daily life for young Black people, JOY AND PAIN shows how Black Americans resist, find joy, and cultivate new visions for the future. This innovative book relates Marley’s personal encounters with everyday aspects of the carceral state through an ethnographic A side and offers deeper context through an anthropological and archival B side. In Joy and Pain, Marley’s experiences at the intersection of history and the contemporary political moment invite us to imagine more expansive futures.

Damon Mosley
Smile For We

Turn on the TV and you see Black men getting killed, ridiculed, or stereotyped at the first opportunity. Like there’s something wrong with us. Like we’re defective somehow. In general, the media constantly portrays us as threats, not human beings. In a way, the following 32 images are family portraits. Sons. Fathers. Business owners. Roles you don’t often see Black men playing on either big or small screens. See, the whole rapper and drug dealer thing is their picture of our lives. But the real picture? The boys and men we’ve actually become? Who we really are is way more beautiful. So when you see me on the street, don’t smile for me. Smile for WE.

Kamila Shamsie
Best Of Friends

In a sprawling story of female friendship and ambition that spans from late-’80s Pakistan to contemporary England, the Home Fire author explores the fraught history between Zahra and Maryam — once inseparable at a Karachi boarding school, now living very different lives in London, and both still grappling with the fallout of a formative incident from their teen.

Namwali Serpell
The Furrows

In an urgent, intimate stream of consciousness the award-winning author of The Old Drift, Namwali Serpell’s piercing new novel captures the ongoing and uncanny experience of grief.The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a masterful story of mistaken identity, slippery reality, and the wishful and sometimes willful longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.

Jonathan Escoffery
If I Survive You

Escoffery’s already much-lauded novel-in-stories traces the turns and tribulations of a Jamaican American family in Miami — multifaceted tales of identity, displacement, and odd jobs. Masterfully constructed with heart and humor, the linked stories in Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You center on Trelawny as he struggles to carve out a place for himself amid financial disaster, racism, and flat-out bad luck.