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Book Title

Mother Country

Subtitle
A Novel
Author 1
Jacinda Townsend
Body
Saddled with student loans, medical debt, and the sudden news of her infertility after a major car accident, Shannon, an African American woman, follows her boyfriend to Morocco in search of relief. There, in the cobblestoned medina of Marrakech, she finds a toddler in a pink jacket whose face mirrors her own. With the help of her boyfriend and a bribed official, Shannon makes the fateful decision to adopt and raise the girl in Louisville, Kentucky. But the girl already has a mother: Souria, an undocumented Mauritanian woman who was trafficked as a teen, and who managed to escape to Morocco to build another life.
 
In rendering Souria’s separation from her family across vast stretches of desert and Shannon’s alienation from her mother under the same roof, Jacinda Townsend brilliantly stages cycles of intergenerational trauma and healing. Linked by the girl who has been a daughter to them both, these unforgettable protagonists move toward their inevitable reckoning. Mother Country is a bone-deep and unsparing portrayal of the ethical and emotional claims we make upon one another in the name of survival, in the name of love.

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List Price
$17.00
ISBN
ISBN
978-1-64445-087-1
Format
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Publication Date
Subject
Subject
Pages
Pages
312
Trim Size
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
Keynote
A transnational feminist novel about human trafficking and motherhood from an award-winning author

About the Author

Jacinda  Townsend
Credit: Jim Krause
Jacinda Townsend is the author of Saint Monkey, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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Upcoming Events

HYBRID: Jacinda Townsend reading and in conversation about MOTHER COUNTRY with Melissa Scholes Young, presented by Politics and Prose

Date:
ET
Location:
Politics & Prose in Washington, DCview map
Free and open to the public. In person and streamed virtually live. Click here for more information. Vaccination cards and I.D. will be checked at the event entrance and mask-wearing is encouraged for the duration of the program.

Jacinda Townsend reading from and in conversation with Jennifer Haigh about MOTHER COUNTRY, presented by Brookline Booksmith

Date:
ET
Location:
Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MAview map
Check back here for more information. 

Praise

  • “An intense exploration of gender, race, and class rooted in transnational geopolitics. . . . Townsend’s insights into self, motherhood, freedom, and love and her ability to illuminate multiple realities as this complex tale unfolds ensure that this is a gripping and provocative read.”—Booklist
     
  • “Townsend provides many perspectives on motherhood while addressing potent issues of kidnapping, slavery, rape, abuse, and neglect, and vividly depicting their consequences. Highly recommended.”Library Journal
  • “[An] impactful story of motherhood, resilience, and belonging. . . . In scenes both vast and intimate, Townsend brings to life the busy streets of Marrakech as well as the quiet suburbs of Kentucky. This moving story about love and loss will not easily be forgotten.”—Publishers Weekly 
     
  • “[Mother Country’s] great strengths are the gorgeous prose and deep empathy that Townsend extends to both Souria and Shannon. Her multifaceted portrait of Morocco and insights into American privilege, transnational colorism, and transgenerational trauma elevate what could have been merely a tragic crime story.”Kirkus Reviews
     
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