Library of Congress

National Book Festival

Oprah Winfrey said she was so “astonished” after reading just one chapter of Ayana Mathis’s “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” (Random House) that she had to name it as a selection for her Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The novel covers several decades in a family’s journey from the segregated South. According to The New York Times, “Mathis has a gift for imbuing her characters’ stories with an epic dimension that recalls Toni Morrison’s writing, and her sense of time and place and family will remind some of Louise Erdrich, but her elastic voice is thoroughly her own — both lyrical and unsparing, meditative and visceral, and capable of giving the reader nearly complete access to her characters’ minds and hearts.”

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

Ayana Mathis

Photo by Elena Seibert