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Ayana Mathis Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Violent Woman (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Unsettled (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Double Bind: Women on Ambition(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis is a celebrated author known for her works like ‘The Twelve Tribes of Hattie’ and the ‘The Unsettled.’ The latter novel would go on to garner critical acclaim, being recognized as a Notable Book of 2023 by notable publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Furthermore, ‘The Unsettled’ has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, The New Yorker, Oprah Daily, and Kirkus Reviews as one of the best novels of 2023.

Mathis showcases a remarkable talent for creating rich and complex characters that resonate with readers long after they finish her books. Her ability to craft compelling protagonists adds depth and authenticity to her narratives, making her stories engaging and thought-provoking. Readers are drawn into her writing through intricate storytelling that weaves together emotions, relationships, and societal issues with finesse and elegance.

Through her storytelling prowess, Mathis captivates audiences with narratives that explore the human experience in profound and captivating ways. Her gift for breathing life into her stories with mesmerizing detail and evocative prose sets her apart as a writer who excels in crafting immersive literary worlds.

Mathis also skillfully intertwines important messages into her work, crafting engaging narratives that captivate readers. Through her storytelling, she addresses significant themes with depth and nuance, creating a thought-provoking and enriching reading experience. Mathis’s ability to blend meaningful messages seamlessly into her narratives adds layers of complexity to her stories while keeping them intriguing and impactful to her audience.

As readers delve into Mathis’s works, they are transported into a realm where characters come alive, and stories unfold with a depth that leaves a lasting impression.

Early and Personal Life

Ayana Mathis, a graduate of the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop, found her passion for reading and writing at a young age, leading her to pursue a career as an author. Throughout her journey, Mathis has drawn inspiration from various experiences and milestones in her life, shaping her growth as a writer. Her development as an author has been supported by esteemed institutions like the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.

With a solid educational background in creative writing, Mathis honed her skills and earned her MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She also became the first African-American woman to remain in the role of Assistant Professor in that esteemed program, showcasing her dedication and talent in the literary field. Currently, Mathis imparts her knowledge and expertise to aspiring writers as a teacher at Hunter College in the MFA Program, inspiring a new generation of creative minds.

As a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship and the 2020-2021 American Academy in Berlin Prize Fellow, Mathis’s journey as an author reflects dedication, perseverance, and a deep-rooted love for storytelling. Her contributions to the literary world underscore her commitment to excellence and her continued exploration of narratives that resonate with audiences worldwide.

Writing Career

Ayana Mathis embarked on her writing career with the release of her debut novel, ‘The Twelve Tribes of Hattie’, which quickly rose to acclaim as a New York Times Bestseller and was featured in Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The book garnered further recognition as an NPR Best Book of 2013, and received nominations for prestigious awards such as the Dublin Literary Award and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Additionally, Mathis has contributed essays and criticism to esteemed publications like The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Rolling Stone, showcasing her versatility and depth as a writer.

Continuing her literary pursuits, Mathis expanded her creative repertoire with subsequent novels, including ‘A Violent Woman’ in 2019 and the forthcoming ‘The Unsettled’ in 2023. While delving into fiction, Mathis also explored the intersection of faith and American literature in a notable nonfiction series titled ‘Imprinted By Belief,’ published in The New York Times.

Later pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary, Mathis’s diverse body of work demonstrates her dedication to storytelling across various genres and themes.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Ayana Mathis’s historical novel ‘The Twelve Tribes of Hattie’ was published on December 6, 2012, by Knopf. The book received accolades, including the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for 1st Novelist in 2013 and a nomination for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction in the same year.

Fleeing Georgia in 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd seeks a better life in Philadelphia, only to endure hardships, including the loss of her twins. With a lack of tenderness, she raises her nine surviving children, determined to toughen them for a harsh world.

Woven in twelve narrative threads, Mathis’s ‘The Twelve Tribes of Hattie’ depicts a mother’s courage and her children’s struggles, offering a poignant and uplifting tale of resilience and the pursuit of the American dream.

Emotionally gripping and vividly depicted, this debut novel by Ayana Mathis introduces a compelling voice in contemporary fiction, capturing the essence of a tumultuous journey with powerful storytelling.

Mathis weaves a powerful tale of a mother’s unwavering courage and her children’s struggles with poignant storytelling. The vivid depiction and emotional depth make it a compelling read that resonates long after the final page.

The Unsettled

Ayana Mathis’s historical novel ‘The Unsettled’ was published by Knopf on September 26, 2023, marking another significant literary achievement in her career. With its release through the Knopf publishing house, Mathis continues to captivate readers with her storytelling prowess and enriching narratives.

Ava Carson and her son, Toussaint, seek refuge at the Glenn Avenue family shelter in Philadelphia in 1985, planning their escape from deplorable conditions and uncertain circumstances. Ava’s resolve intensifies as she navigates the shelter’s challenges, determined to provide Toussaint with a better future and break free from their troubled history.

Faced with discomfort and insecurity, Ava’s unwavering determination shines as she strives to protect her son and secure a brighter path forward for the future.

Through the captivating story of Ava and Toussaint, readers are drawn into a world of challenges and triumphs, expertly woven together by Mathis’s storytelling prowess, making it a must-read for those seeking an immersive and thought-provoking literary journey.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ayana Mathis

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