In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books – poetry, novels, memoirs and more – all written by Black American authors. Each of these works moved, engaged, delighted, enraged, and excited Island Free Library readers’ this past year, and we’ll be featuring one title every day through the month of February.
Today’s work is Robert Jones, Jr.’s The Prophets, a novel of a love so great it hammered out an existence even under crushing circumstances. Isaiah and Samuel are two young men enslaved on a plantation in 1830s Mississippi, and their love is a refuge and respite for one another in a world of violence. Their deep care and commitment to each other is threatened on every side, as the enslaved turn on each other in search of approval and survival. A masterful and timeless work with Biblical weight and heft, The Prophets is Jones’ debut novel, and was a NYT Bestseller and a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction.
Robert Jones, Jr. is an author and an essayist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Essence, and The Paris Review, among many other publications. He is also the creator and curator of the social-justice, social-media community Son of Baldwin. Born and raised in NYC, Jones lives and writes in Brooklyn. Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!