Mother-Wit | Jeffery Renard Allen | Granta


Jeffery Renard Allen

‘It would be many years before I understood that around my mother’s sober acceptance of the status quo was a whole culture she had developed for our subsistence and well-being.’

Jeffery Renard Allen

Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of five books, most recently the novel Song of the Shank, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and a Dublin Literary Prize nominee. Allen has received numerous accolades for his work, including the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for Fiction, the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, a grant in Innovative Literature from Creative Capital, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, a residency at the Bellagio Center and fellowships at the Center for Scholars and Writers, the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Studies and the Schomburg Center for Black Research and Culture. He has widely published in numerous periodicals and journals, and he has lectured and taught workshops worldwide for Summer Literary Seminars, Kwani?, Farafina Writers’ Workshop, Kimbilio, Cave Canem, the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, Sewanee and Disquiet International, among others. His collection of stories, Fat Time, will be published in 2021. He is presently at work on three books, the memoir Mother Wit, the essay collection Daywork: Reflections on Politics, Art, and Culture and the novel Hour of the Seeds. He makes his home in Johannesburg.  

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