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Jessica George Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Jessica George
Jessica George was born and grew up in London to Ghanaian parents and studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield.

After she worked at a literary agency and a theater, she landed a job in the editorial department of Bloomsbury UK.

Jessica is an avid reader that discovered the local library from an early age and reads widely, she counts Agatha Christie and Toni Morrison among her favorites, and she’s always known that she loved writing. However even supportive parents blanche just a bit at such a mercurial career choice, one that’s not guaranteed to deliver a steady income, so she went to university to become a lawyer.

There was a parental pressure to become something that allows you to be comfortable in life. She didn’t see too many Black female writers her age, and when you don’t see it, it is tough to imagine yourself doing it. But she wound up leaving school at 19 to dedicate herself to her writing.

It wasn’t until Jessica wrote “Maame” that she felt like she truly came into her own as a writer. It just took her six books for her to get there. These first five books weren’t really her, they were just modeled on what was popular at the time she wrote them, and not anything that she really cared too much about, just what she believed would get her published.

In these eight years, she tried hiding her voice because she believed it was too colloquial, too conversational. It sounded too much like the voice inside of her head. And because she had not read books that sounded too much like the voice in her own head, she thought it clearly wasn’t what the people wanted.

Hearing one agent after the next tell her that she and her books weren’t good enough in their eyes was very depressing to her. When professionals in the industry are asking her if she’s suited for this, it made her wonder if she’s not very good at doing what she really wants to do and what she thinks will make her happy, what can she do?

After these rejections, she considered giving up on writing altogether in favor of some other and easier career path, just to find herself being drawn back to storytelling every time. She couldn’t find anything else that gave her the joy that writing does, and it kept her going.

After all of these rejections, she had gotten so used to hearing no that by the time she sent “Maame” out, her expectations were pretty much nonexistent and she didn’t think anybody would interested.

One of the most difficult parts of writing “Maame” was attempting to justice to the grieving process. She never wanted to give off the impression that the process ever ends, nor would she even like saying it gets any better, it is just easier to handle. Jessica felt like her main responsibility was to people that would read this as they were grieving, and she didn’t want to paint it in some sort of pretty light. She wanted there to be a hopeful light at the end instead of a definitive worst had happened and nothing bad will ever happen ever again sort of feeling.

While she was writing the novel, it felt almost impossible not to include some sort of microaggression or active racism because it’s a reality. Not writing about it at all would’ve felt as though something were missing from the novel. She was at this talk, and somebody asked the author if non-White writers were able to write about anything without any mention of microagressions or racism, which is a very interesting question to Jessica. And if the question had been directed to her at that time, she probably would’ve said no.

“Maame” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. Maame (pronounced ma-meh) has got many meanings in Twi, however in her case, it means woman.

It is fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is not very rewarding. With a mom that spends much of her time in Ghana (but still manages to be overbearing somehow), Maddie’s the primary caretaker to her dad, who suffers advanced stage Parkinson’s. And at work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the one and only Black person in every meeting.

When her mom comes back from her recent trip to Ghana, Maddie jumps at the shot to get out of the family home and start finally living. A self acknowledged late bloomer, she is ready to experience some very important “firsts”. She starts saying yes to after-work, drinks finds a flat share, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. However it isn’t long before tragedy strikes, which forces her to face the real nature of her unconventional family, and the rewards, and perils, of putting her heart on the line.

Deeply affecting, smart, and funny, “Maame” deals with themes of our time with poignancy and humor: from racism and familial duty, to the complexity of love, female pleasure, and the life saving power of friendship. Most importantly, it explores what it really feels like to be torn between two cultures and homes, and celebrates being able to find where you belong finally.

Meeting Maame feels like falling in love for the very first time: awkward, a little bit heartbreaking, warm, joyous, and, most of all, unforgettable.

Maddie is a character you find yourself rooting for in this lovely debut novel with a fully realized main character. Her quirky and introverted nature make her such an interesting protagonist. Jessica’s writing is vibrant with strongly developed characters, and she touches upon important issues without getting heavy handed about it. You find yourself wanting the best for Maddie, as you become engaged in the fate of these fictional characters, and it reads like a memoir, even though it’s fiction. It is a witty and touching read with writing that comes straight from the heart with some liberal doses of humor sprinkled in it.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jessica George

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