Nancy Johnson discusses The Kindest Lie. She will be in joined in conversation by Catherine Adel West.
Presented in partnership with American Writer’s Museum
This is a hybrid event, and registration is required for both in-person and virtual participation. The in-person event will be held at The American Writers Museum.
About the book: It’s 2008, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He’s eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to–and was forced to leave behind–when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she’d never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past.
Returning home, Ruth discovers the Indiana factory town of her youth is plagued by unemployment, racism, and despair. As she begins digging into the past, she unexpectedly befriends Midnight, a young white boy who is also adrift and looking for connection. Just as Ruth is about to uncover a burning secret her family desperately wants to keep hidden, a traumatic incident strains the town’s already searing racial tensions, sending Ruth and Midnight on a collision course that could upend both their lives.
Powerful and revealing, The Kindest Lie captures the heartbreaking divide between Black and white communities and offers both an unflinching view of motherhood in contemporary America and the never-ending quest to achieve the American Dream.
About the author: A native of Chicago’s South Side, Nancy Johnson worked for more than a decade as an Emmy-nominated, award-winning television journalist at CBS and ABC affiliates in markets nationwide. Her debut novel, The Kindest Lie, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice pick. It has been reviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and was featured on Entertainment Weekly’s Must List. It’s been named one of the most anticipated books of 2021 by the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, O, the Oprah Magazine, Shondaland, NBC News, Marie Claire, ELLE, The New York Post, Good Housekeeping, Parade, Refinery29, and more. Nancy leads brand communications for a health care nonprofit and lives in the South Loop where she is hard at work writing her second novel, People of Means.
About the interlocutor: Catherine Adel West was born and raised in Chicago, IL where she currently resides. She graduated with both her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois – Urbana. Her work is published in Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket and Gay Magazine. Catherine’s short story “Orion’s Star” is featured in the body positive anthology Every Body Shines. Her sophomore novel Becoming Sara King is slated for release in 2022. In between writing and traveling, Catherine works as an editor.
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