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December 3, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

Virtual Author Series: Deesha Philyaw and Samantha Irby


December 3, 2020
7:00 pm

Books & Books and Miami Book Fair present…

An Evening with Deesha Philyaw

In conversation with Samantha Irby 


The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

(West Virginia University Press, $18.99) 

Thursday, December 3, 7pm 

LIVE via Crowdcast



The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.

There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher’s wife. At forty-two, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta’s “same time next year” arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other.

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.


About the Author:

Deesha Philyaw’s writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, McSweeney’s, the Rumpus, Brevity, Apogee Journal, Barrelhouse, Baltimore Review, Cheat River Review, Electric Literature, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, she currently lives in Pittsburgh with her daughters.

About the Moderator:

Samantha Irby is the author of three acclaimed essay collections: Meaty, and the New York Times Bestsellers, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. and Wow, No Thank You. Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, she writes the blog bitches gotta eat and the newsletter “who’s on judge mathis today?”