Meet the author of the book all Seattle is reading, ‘The Turner House’

Author Angela Flournoy will be in Seattle May 8-11 to meet readers and discuss her novel, “The Turner House,” about a large Detroit family and the family home they must come to terms with.

Lit Life

“We live and die in houses, dream of getting back to houses, take great care in considering who will inherit the houses when we’re gone. Cha-Cha knew his family was no different. The house on Yarrow Street was their sedentary mascot; its crumbling facade the Turner coat of arms.”

Angela Flournoy’s novel “The Turner House” is the story of a now-weary house on Detroit’s east side and the family that lived there. Thirteen Turner children — beginning with Cha-Cha (Charles), born during World War II; ending with Lelah, whose arrival came just months after the 1967 Detroit riots — grew up in the house, knowing every inch of its yellow-papered walls and narrow staircase, listening to its secrets. Now the children are grown and must decide what to do with the empty house (now worth far less than what their ailing mother, who’s moved to the suburbs, owes on the mortgage) — and come to terms with their memories of it.

Published in 2015 (and in paperback last year), “The Turner House” — Flournoy’s debut — received much acclaim: It was a National Book Award finalist, an NAACP Image Award nominee, and singled out as one of the best books of the year by numerous national publications. And late last year, it received an exceptional local honor: It was named the the Seattle Reads selection for 2017. In early May, Flournoy will be in town for several days of events at various branches of the Seattle Public Library, meeting local readers and talking about her book.

Author appearances

Angela Flournoy

The author of “The Turner House” will read from and discuss her book at several events as part of the 2017 Seattle Reads program: 7 p.m. May 8 at the Columbia Branch Library; 3 p.m. May 9 at the University Branch Library; 7 p.m. May 9 at the Ballard Branch Library; 12:30 p.m. May 10 at the Southwest Branch Library; 7 p.m. May 10 at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute; and 7 p.m. May 11 at the Central Library. For more information: 206-386-4636 or spl.org

“I’m very excited about this,” said Flournoy, in a phone interview from her Brooklyn home earlier this month. A former library employee at a branch of the District of Columbia Public Library, she remembered having an All-City Read there. “I thought that would be kind of the pinnacle — the thing that everyone in the city is reading. So to have it happen is really exciting.”

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