May 25, 2022

Roxane Gay and Jesmyn Ward launch book clubs just in time for summer

Whether you’re a bookworm or love an occasional novel, summer is the time of year when most people strive to indulge in at least one or more leisurely reads. Literati makes this even easier while on vacation by the pool or staying home with the kids with the launch of book clubs run by eight bestselling authors.

Roxane Gay and Jesmyn Ward are among the writers who have partnered with Literati for this new initiative. Gay, the author of Bad feminist and Hunger, will celebrate stories that “boldly ignore normal constraints” with its Audacious Book Club featuring works such as The five wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quadé, Someone’s daughter by Ashley Ford, Renouncements by Donika Kelly, and The principle of the heart by Hélène Hoang. The club’s first choice for the month of June will be Women and salt by Gabriela Garcia.

“I’m an omnivorous reader, so I chose books that I loved above all else and found to be provocative and engaging,” Gay told ESSENCE via email. “There are novels, poetry books, memoirs and much more. What all of these books have in common is that they are written by unique and powerful voices, and there will be plenty to tell in each case.

Ward’s book club is called Gathering of Voices and will explore texts centered on “cultural strangers whose worlds are so real they feel right at home”. The first book of the double winner of the National Book Award will be Heavy by Kiese Laymon.

Each of Literati’s new book clubs will launch on June 1 with two membership options. Premium memberships include a printed copy of the Book Club’s monthly pick available for $ 20 per month, billed annually or monthly at $ 24.99 per month. Standard subscriptions cost $ 8.25 per month, billed annually. All memberships grant access to the Literati app where members, curators and authors can log in to discuss each month’s selections.

At a time when there is still a lot of uncertainty about the pandemic, our economy, and the daily issues we each face, investing in a book club may only offer a simple form of self-care. “Books allow us to step away from our busy lives and fall into the world of creating a writer,” Gay said. “At their best, books give us the space to question what we know. They entertain us and expand our understanding of what is possible.

Sign up for one of Literati’s new book clubs here.