Montclair Literary Festival Virtual Book Talk: Deesha Philyaw “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies”

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MONTCLAIR, NJ – Succeed2gether will be hosting the Montclair Literary Festival’s first event for 2021.

The event will be a conversation with Deesha Philyaw about her debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. Her book was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction and for the Story Prize, and just this month was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

The book focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church and features four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s standards and their own needs and passions.

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Deesha will be in conversation with Dionne Ford, co-editor of the anthology, Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation and author of the forthcoming, Finding Josephine.

The free talk is online via Crowdcast, register here

All our authors appear for free and the best way to thank and support them is by buying their books! Books can be purchased from Festival partner Watchung Booksellers here.

Succeed2gether’s Montclair Literary Festival will host a special series of author events, Global Voices on March 20 and March 21, 2021, featuring authors and poets from England, Scotland, Ireland, Korea, Iran, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, and Spain. The fifth annual Montclair Literary Festival will take place on Saturday October 2, 2021, with a combination of live and online events.

See also  The Peach Festival Closes with Phil Lesh & Friends, featuring Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Holly Bowling and More

See all of the talks by visiting our website events page here.

Any proceeds from the festival benefit parent organization, Montclair-based non-profit Succeed2gether, which offers after-school one-on-one tutoring and enrichment classes with the aim of closing the education and opportunity gaps in Essex County, NJ. You can read more about Succeed2gether and the festival at

The festival organizing committee wishes to thank event partners Montclair Public Library and Watchung Booksellers, and festival sponsors Rao’sWest of Hudson Realty GroupJill Williams(Ameriprise Financial), Ferguson Dental, the County of Essex, and community members.



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