ELLE (UK)

The zeitgeist... FAMILY DYNASTIES

TESTING THE STRENGTH OF BLOOD BONDS, THIS MONTH SEES FAMILY COME INTO FOCUS

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Is there a more controvers­ial character than a mother who abandons her child? Multi-award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson explores this in her new novel Red At The Bone (out 26 January). Flipping the tired script of the devoted mother and absent father, Woodson tells the story of a teenage mother, Iris, longing to leave her child to explore more of the world. Meanwhile in Waves (out 17 January) – think Moonlight meets HBO series Euphoria – members of a suburban Florida family navigate love and forgivenes­s in the wake of a tragic loss. Its director, Trey Edward Shults (It Comes At Night), captures complicate­d family dynamics – from parental pressures to unplanned pregnancie­s – with tenderness and grace, as actor Taylor Russell (Lost In Space) makes her breakout performanc­e, with awards hype building. Finally, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ novel The Water Dancer (out 6 February) was heralded by Oprah as ‘one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life’. The story explores the violent separation of narrator Hiram Walker – a young boy who is born into slavery on a Virginia plantation during the Antebellum era – from his family.

“COATES BLENDS THE BRUTALITY OF SLAVE HISTORY WITH IMAGINATIV­E STORYTELLI­NG ”

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