Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns
  • The Warmth of Other Suns

  • 'A landmark piece of non-fiction' Janet Maslin, The New York Times

    From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this is one of the great untold stories of American history: the migration of black citizens who fled the south and went north in search of a better life

    From 1915 to 1970, an exodus of almost six million people would change the face of America. With stunning historical detail, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson gives us this definitive, vividly dramatic account of how these journeys unfolded.

    Based on interviews with more than a thousand people, and access to new data and official records, The Warmth of Other Suns tells the story of America's Great Migration through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career.

    Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country journeys, as well as how they changed their new homes forever.

    'You will never forget these people' Gay Talese

    'A brilliant and stirring epic' John Stauffer, Wall Street Journal

    'The mass migration of African Americans out of the US south forever changed the country's cultural fabric - and Wilkerson's history of this period is full of sacrifice and hope ... a long overdue account' Lettecha Johnson, Guardian

    'A deeply affecting, finely crafted and heroic book. . . .Wilkerson has taken on one of the most important demographic upheavals of the past century and told it through the lives of three people ... lyrical and tragic' Jill Lepore, New Yorker

Isabel Wilkerson is the author of the acclaimed bestsellers The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Her debut work won multiple awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Cited as a best book of the year by thirty news organizations, Warmth was named to Time's list of the Ten Best Books of the Decade, and The New York Times's list of the Best Nonfiction of All Time. Her second book, Caste, was a No.1 bestseller and heralded in The New York Times as 'an instant American Classic.' It appeared on forty best of the year lists, more than any other work of nonfiction, and was honored by Time as the No.1 nonfiction book of the year. In choosing Caste for her Fall 2020 book club, Oprah Winfrey declared it 'the most important book I have ever selected.' Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded her the National Humanities Medal for 'championing the stories of an unsung history.' She has taught at Princeton, Emory, and Boston Universities and has lectured at more than two hundred other colleges and universities across the United States and in Europe and Asia.

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