New York City, like many other municipalities, has a citywide reading program in which everyone is encouraged to read one particular book in order to establish literary common ground. But it has done something different in the current go-round: All five nominated books are by women.
One Book, One New York has chosen the following five novels and asked residents to vote for their choice:
- Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
- A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
- Nilda by Nicholasa Mohr
- Just Kids by Patti Smith
- Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Voting takes place from April 1-30 at nyc.gov/onebook. The winner will be announced on May 3. You can follow the discussion on Twitter at #OneBookNY.
On April 23, four of the authors and Nicholasa Mohr’s son David Mohr will participate in a panel at the NYPL’s Celeste Bartos Forum.
I’m rooting for A Place for Us because Lee, Smith, and Woodson have already had smash bestsellers, established their names, and won many awards. A Place for Us is a wonderful and timely novel that is doing well for a debut, but deserves a wider audience. I’m not familiar with Nicholasa Mohr’s Nilda, so I can’t express an opinion on it.
Whichever book wins the vote, New Yorkers are in for a treat during their summer citywide “book club.”
- A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza: As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents must reckon with the choices their children have made. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture?
- Nilda by Nicholasa Mohr: The coming of age story of a 10-year-old Puerto Rican girl growing up in The Bronx during WWII. A story of family hardship and discrimination as young girl’s childhood slowly erodes away.
- Just Kids by Patti Smith: A memoir by the legendary artist gives a glimpse into life in 1970s NYC and her friendship with renowned artist Robert Mapplethorpe.
- Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson: Four young friends navigate the perils of adolescence, mean streets and haunted memories in 1970s Bushwick, all while dreaming of escape.
- Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee: A strong-willed Queens-born daughter of Korean immigrants is addicted to a glamorous Manhattan lifestyle she can’t afford, but is determined to carve a space for herself in the glittering world of NYC.