Each month, Beyond The Page: A WGBH Book Clubfeatures a notable author, who takes part in a live Q&A with a WGBH personality to discuss the intricacies of that month's novel. With each monthly book selection, we also ask the author for a list of reading recommendations. For its July edition, Beyond The Page selected Francesca Momplaisir’s novel My Mother’s House, a literary thriller about the complex underbelly of the immigrant American dream — told unexpectedly by a house that has held unspeakable horrors.

5 recommended books:

Momplaisir: Ayiti by Roxanne Gaye. From New York Times-bestselling powerhouse Roxane Gay, Ayiti is a powerful collection exploring the Haitian diaspora experience.

Haiti Noir edited by Edwidge Danticat. Launched with the summer ’04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb. A brilliantly original memoir of a grandmother speaking to her granddaughter from beyond the grave, telling the story of her life with hilarious candor and love.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. From its inception in California in 1974 to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and on Broadway, the Obie Award–winning book has excited, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the country. Passionate and fearless, Shange’s words reveal what it meant to be of color and female in the twentieth century.

Playing in the Dark : Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison, a 1992 work of literary criticism.

What’s up next on your reading list?

Momplaisir: The City We Became by NK Jemesin. This 2020 urban fantasy novel by N. K. Jemisin is the first in her Great Cities series. It takes place in New York City, in a version of the world in which great cities become sentient through human avatars.

Francesca Momplaisir is a Haitian-born multilingual literature scholar and writer of fiction and poetry in both English and her native Haitian Kreyol. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, the University of Oxford, and New York University. She earned a Doctorate in African and African diaspora literature as an NYU MacCracken fellow under her supervisor and mentor, Ngugi wa Thiong'o. She is a recipient of a Fulbright fellowship to travel to Ghana to research the cultural retention and memory of the transatlantic slave trade. She lives in the New York City metro area.

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