Hardcover : 320 pages
Publisher : Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged Edition (October 6, 2020)
When Bianca appears late one night at her brother’s house in Santa Ana, she is barely conscious, though not alone. Jubilee, wrapped in a fuzzy pink romper, is buckled into a car seat. Jubilee, who Bianca feeds and clothes and bathes and loves. Jubilee, who Bianca could not leave behind. Jubilee, a doll in her arms.
Told in alternating points of view, Jubilee reveals both the haunting power of our lived experiences and the surreal possibility of the present to heal the past.
The first thread, ”Before Jubilee,” follows Bianca in her girlhood home on the Mexicali border as she struggles with her high school sweetheart, Gabe, and a secret they’ve shared since she was fifteen.
The second thread, With Jubilee, is told from the point of view of her new love, Joshua, who along with Bianca’s family helps her cope with a mysterious trauma by accepting Jubilee as part of the family. As Joshua’s love for Bianca grows, he fears that Jubilee has the power to tear his tiny family apart.
Alternating chapters give readers a unique perspective on Bianca’s present and on her relationship with Jubilee as her past life with Gabe comes to a catastrophic end.
Jubilee is at once a darkly suspenseful psychological drama and a luminous reflection on how beauty emerges from even the most traumatic of experiences.
”A deeply affecting and ultimately uplifting novel. Givhan’s beautiful prose vividly renders a Southern California not often seen in literature.” —Toni Margarita Plummer, author of The Bolero of Andi Rowe
”I never thought I’d see the Great Mexicali Novel. Jennifer Givhan teaches us new things about borders, including the shadowy borders of the mind. Intense.” —Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels
Jennifer Givhan, a National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellow, is a Mexican American writer and activist from the Southwestern desert. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Landscape with Headless Mama (2015 Pleiades Editors Prize), Protection Spell (2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series edited by Billy Collins), Girl with Death Mask (2017 Blue Light Books Prize chosen by Ross Gay), and Rosas Einstein (Camino Del Sol Poetry Series, 2019). Her honors include the Frost Place Latinx Scholarship, a National Latinx Writers Conference Scholarship, the Lascaux Review Poetry Prize, Phoebe Journals Greg Grummer Poetry Prize chosen by Monica Youn, the Pinch Poetry Prize chosen by Ada Limón, and ten Pushcart nominations. Her work has appeared in Best of the Net, Best New Poets, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Ploughshares, Poetry, TriQuarterly, Boston Review, AGNI, Crazyhorse, Witness, Southern Humanities Review, Missouri Review, and the Kenyon Review. Givhan holds a masters degree in English from California State University Fullerton and an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and she can be found discussing feminist motherhood at JenniferGivhan.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter @JennGivhan.
Connect with Jennifer
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Tuesday, October 13th: @welovebigbooksandwecannotlie