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Bookreporter Talks To

Feb 2, 2021

Sadeqa Johnson joins Carol Fitzgerald to discuss Yellow Wife, her first novel of historical fiction.

Yellow Wife tells the story of Pheby Delores Brown, a mixed-race woman who grew up in Virginia. When the book opens, she is living on a plantation with her mother, who is a medicine woman. Pheby’s father is the Master of the plantation, which gives her some privileges not typically allow to slaves. She’s been promised her freedom at age 18. But before that freedom can be granted, circumstances change and Pheby is sent to an infamous jailhouse, where conditions are harsh. To stay alive as she works to build a life of her own, Pheby has to connect with her jailer and face sacrifice after sacrifice.

In the midst of the conversation about the book, Sadeqa shares the inspiration that led her to write Yellow Wife. After discussing the events of the story and how Sadeqa tackled the serious topics in the novel, she talks about the relationship her children have with the book, the ways this historical fiction is a step away from anything she's done before, and what working with J.K. Rowling earlier in her career taught her about being an author.

Books discussed in this episode:

YELLOW WIFE by Sadeqa Johnson 

Check out our other videos:

Bookaccino Book Club with William Kent Krueger

Bookaccino Book Club with Jeanine Cummins

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