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Tara M. Stringfellow On Her Debut Novel ‘Memphis’, Exploring Generational Trauma And The Journey To Womanhood

There are many Instagram-caption-worthy quotes about how books allow us to travel, and I was reminded of every single one of them as I cracked open the first page of Memphis, the immersive debut novel from Tara M. Stringfellow.

After the honeysuckle and heat of the Memphis sun, the next thing that struck me was the fact that Tara has written a coming-of-age novel – a genre that does not see enough young Black girl protagonists in my humble opinion.

Memphis begins with ten-year-old Joan returning to Memphis, the city she was born in and where her mother grew up. She is escaping her abusive father along with her mother, Miriam, and sister Maya and through a chorus of voices from the women in her family, the reader travels through time, experiencing the joys, loves and heartbreak of a Southern family through the ages.