Bernice L. McFaddenwalked away with the 48th NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of fiction on February 11th for her historical novel, The Book of Harlan. The Awards celebrate African American creative achievement in television, music, literature and film, and also honour individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative ventures.
Bernice, who has been nominated in previous years, managed to fight off staunch competition from illustrious writers such as, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Lawrence Hill and Yvvette Edwards. During the star-studded, televised ceremony, she gave an inspiring and thoughtful speech on the value of storytelling, prefaced by the exclamation, ‘Ooh, I’m so blessed to be black!’
The Book of Harlan is based on Bernice’s own exhaustive research into her ancestral past and transports the reader from Macon, Georgia to the Harlem Renaissance through to 1930s Montmatre and the horrors of the German concentration camps. Infused with jazz and featuring cameos from familiar icons, this is a story of family, identity, and staggering human resolve.
Jacaranda Books is proud to be the UK publisher for The Book of Harlan and look forward to adding more titles from Bernice soon. See Jacaranda’s founder, Valerie Brandes, talking about the book on Jen Campbell’s prestigious BookTube channel, here>.
Other notable wins for the NAACP Image Award on the night went to Trevor Noah, Viola Davis and Beyoncé.