Identity

Brandon Cruz González / El Vocero de Puerto Rico

For nearly 15 years, National Medal of the Arts award-winning poet and author Julia Alvarez has focused on writing picture books and novels for children. But earlier this year, she published her first novel for adults in more than a decade, called Afterlife.

The protagonist, Antonia Vega, is a woman in her late 60s reckoning with isolation and her new identity after her husband’s sudden death. In a world upended by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and wrestling with its own kind of communal grief, the themes of the novel resonate in ways that Alvarez never could have predicted.


Michael W. Twitty/@KosherSoul / Twitter

Culinary historian Michael Twitty traces his ancestry through food in "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South." The memoir won the 2018 James Beard Foundation's Award for Book of the Year. In it, Twitty explores the complex question of who owns Southern food.

 

GPB's Tony Harris spoke with Twitty about why he wanted to wrestle with that question and his passion for food justice.

 

Monique Bandong / NextGenRadio

Ian Garvey didn’t know very many Donald Trump supporters before he met Tim Huff. Huff had never met a transgender person. Two weeks before Trump became president, Garvey was randomly placed in Huff’s dorm room.

Garvey moved in January 2017. At the time, the election had a heavy effect on the campus’ political climate, sparking protests and heated discussions. Oglethorpe University President Larry Schall sent a campus-wide email that invited students to a conversation at the dining hall.

Georgia is a hub of multiculturalism. At Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, there’s a new class tapping into that topic. It's called "Literary Tribalism: How to Read Race, Class, Nation & Gender." Oglethorpe University English professor Reshmi Hebbar joined us in studio to tell us about her new class. Her students, Caleb Logan and Yasmin Tehrani, also joined the conversation.

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Georgia is a hub of multiculturalism.

 

At Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, there’s a new class tapping into that topic. It's called "Literary Tribalism: How to Read Race, Class, Nation & Gender."