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LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019. A powerful, well-researched, fictional account exploring the trokosi tradition for the curious and the open-minded, from the award-winning author of The Book of Harlan. Abeo Kata lives a comfortable, happy life in West Africa as the privileged nine-year-old daughter of a government employee and stay-at-home mother. But when the Katas' idyllic lifestyle takes a turn for the worse, Abeo's father, following his mother's advice, places her in a religious shrine, hoping that the sacrifice of his daughter will serve as religious atonement for the crimes of his ancestors. Unspeakable acts befall Abeo for the fifteen years she is enslaved within the shrine. When she is finally rescued, broken and battered, she must struggle to overcome her past, endure the revelation of family secrets, and learn to trust and love again. In our global political landscape where children are treated as justifiable casualties in the struggle for power, Praise Song for the Butterflies is an unflinching tale of the devastation children are subject to when adults are ruled by fear and someone must pay the consequences. Spanning decades and two continents, this exquisite novel will break and heal your heart.
"e;McFadden works a kind of miracle--not only do her characters retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises."e;--New York Times, on Gathering of Waters"e;Riveting...so nicely avoids the sentimentality that swirls around the subject matter. I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes."e;--Toni Morrison, on The Warmest December"e;McFadden's lively and loving rendering of New York hews closely to the jazz-inflected city of myth....McFadden has a wonderful ear for dialogue, and her entertaining prose equally accommodates humor and pathos."e;--New York Times, on Glorious"e;An engrossing multigenerational saga...With her deep engagement in the material and her brisk but lyrical prose, McFadden creates a poignant epic of resiliency, bringing Sherry to a well-earned awareness of her place atop the shoulders of her ancestors, those who survived so that she might one day, too."e;--Publishers Weekly, on Nowhere Is a PlaceThe Bernice L. McFadden Collection features four novels from the three-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist: Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), Glorious (2010), Nowhere Is a Place (2006), and The Warmest December (2001).