Public Books: "Slavery Was No Opera"
I've published a short article on Alyssa Cole's historical romance fiction for the online journal, Public Books. The piece focuses mostly on Cole's recent novel, An Extraordinary Union, which I really enjoyed. I had initially planned to discuss her work as part of these two collections: Daughters of a Nation: A Black Suffragette Historical Romance Anthology and The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology. I often teach the novels of Beverly Jenkins in my course on slavery, literature, and popular culture, so it was thrilling to come across two anthologies with such well-crafted, historically-informed stories within the romance genre. Daughters of a Nation is my favorite of the two and while I'm a big admirer of Cole's style, I was also impressed by Piper Huguley's story called "The Washerwoman's War" (featuring poet Francis Ellen Watkins Harper's daughter as the main character!) along with the contributions by Lena Hart and Kianna Alexander. If you are interested in fiction about black women's history - even if you've never picked up a romance novel - I would strongly encourage you to give Cole's books and these two anthologies a try. Check out my article here!
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