Kimberly Garrett Brown
October 27, 2022
Cora’s Kitchen by Kimberly Garrett Brown (Inanna Publications 2022) is a striking novel told in letters, journal entries, and a series of stories written by an educated young Black mother, wife, and librarian. Cora, who works at Harlem’s 135th Street library, reads a powerful poem by the young Langston Hughes, who begins to offer advice about her own writing. She’s awakened to thoughts about society and the role of women, prejudice, and the plight of Black women. Cora is ambitious, but loyal, and stepping in to help a family member leads to a series of events that could destroy her life. She’s ultimately surprised to find herself longing to be back in her tiny apartment cooking for her own family, raising her kids, and working in the library stacks. The experience gives her the fortitude to plunge ahead as a writer.
KIMBERLY GARRETT BROWN is Publisher and Executive Editor of Minerva Rising Press. Her work has appeared in Black Lives Have Always Mattered: A Collection of Essays, Poems and Personal Narratives, The Feminine Collective, Compass Literary Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman, Chicago Tribune, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her first novel, Cora’s Kitchen, was published by Inanna Publications in September 2022. It was a finalist in the 2018 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition and the 2016 Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. She earned her MFA in creative writing at Goddard College. When she’s not writing, Brown loves taking pictures, painting, and drawing. She has three adult children and currently lives in Boca Raton, Florida, with her husband and pampered Shih Tzu.