Safiya Sinclair Celebrates Paperback Release of Her Memoir "How To Say Babylon"

Join us on Thursday, July 11th at 7:00 pm when award-winning and bestselling author SAFIYA SINCLAIR comes to the store to read from, discuss, and sign copies of the new paperback release of How To Say Babylon: A Memoir. Safiya will be joined in discussion by JONATHAN ESCOFFERY. (Safiya's photo by Beowulf Sheehan)

“The book grabs the reader because of the beauty of its words, but it sticks because of the thorniness and complexity of its ideas.” —The Washington Post

This is a free event, but you must pre-register on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating.   Click Here to preorder a copy of How To Say Babylon

Throughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair’s father, a volatile reggae musician and a militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, was obsessed with the ever-present threat of the corrupting evils of the Western world outside their home, and worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure. For him, a woman’s highest virtue was her obedience.

Safiya’s extraordinary mother, though loyal to her father, gave her the one gift she knew would take Safiya beyond the stretch of beach and mountains in Jamaica their family called home: a world of books, knowledge, and education she conjured almost out of thin air. When she introduced Safiya to poetry, Safiya’s voice awakened. As she watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under relentless domesticity, Safiya’s rebellion against her father’s rules set her on an inevitable collision course with him. Her education became the sharp tool to hone her own poetic voice and carve her path to liberation. Rich in emotion and page-turning drama, How to Say Babylon is “a melodious wave of memories” of a woman finding her own power (NPR).

SAFIYA SINCLAIR was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of the memoir How to Say Babylon, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, a finalist for the Women’s Prize in Nonfiction, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and the Kirkus Prize. How to Say Babylon was one of the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of the year, a Washington Post Top 10 Book of 2023, a TIME magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2023, one of The Atlantic’s 10 Best Books of 2023, a Read with Jenna/TODAY show book club pick, and one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2023. How to Say Babylon was also named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, NPR, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, Vulture, and Harper’s Bazaar, among others, and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year. Sinclair is also the author of the poetry collection Cannibal, winner of a Whiting Award. Sinclair’s other honours include a Guggenheim fellowship, and fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the Civitella Rainieri Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Arizona State University.

JONATHAN ESCOFFERY is the author of If I Survive You, a National Book Award and PEN/Jean Stein Book Award nominee, and a finalist for the Booker Prize, the Dublin Literary Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the John Leonard Prize. In 2023, Jonathan was named among the 36 Forces Shaping the Cultural Conversation by Harper’s Bazaar. He is the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship, The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize for Fiction, a NEA Fellowship, and the ASME Award for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Observer, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:30 pm on July11TH.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Thursday, July 11, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Pre-Order Now Badge
How to Say Babylon: A Memoir By Safiya Sinclair Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982132347
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: 37 Ink - July 9th, 2024