Deesha Philyaw, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies @ MLF

Join us for the first Succeed2gether's Montclair Literary Festival event for 2021 – a talk by Deesha Philyaw about her debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. Her book was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction and for the Story Prize, and just this month was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. 

It focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church and features four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s standards and their own needs and passions.

Deesha will be in conversation with Dionne Ford, co-editor of the anthology, Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation, and author of the forthcoming, Finding Josephine. 

All authors appear for free and the best way to thank and support them is by buying their books!

Succeed2gether’s fifth annual Montclair Literary Festival will take place online on March 20 and March 21, 2021. See all of the talks by following us on Crowdcast here or visiting our website events page here.

The festival is a fundraiser for Montclair-based non-profit Succeed2gether, which offers after-school one-on-one tutoring and enrichment classes with the aim of closing the education and opportunity gaps in Essex County, NJ. You can read more about Succeed2gether and the festival at

The festival organizing committee wishes to thank event partners Succeed2gether staff, Montclair Public Library, and Watchung Booksellers, and festival sponsors Rao's, West of Hudson Realty Group, Jill Williams (Ameriprise Financial), Ferguson Dental, the County of Essex, and community members.

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Succeed2Gether's Montclair Literary Festival
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies Cover Image
ISBN: 9781949199734
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: West Virginia University Press - September 1st, 2020

Slavery's Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation Cover Image
By Jill Strauss (Editor), Dionne Ford (Editor), Dionne Ford (Preface by), Jill Strauss (Introduction by), Shannon LaNier (Contributions by), A.B. Westrick (Contributions by), Grant Hayter-Menzies (Contributions by), Joseph McGill (Contributions by), R. Gregory Nokes (Contributions by), Antoinette Broussard (Contributions by), Catherine Sasanov (Contributions by), Leslie Stainton (Contributions by), Rodney G. Williams (Contributions by), Eileen Jackson (Contributions by), Karen Branan (Contributions by), Stephanie Harp (Contributions by), Sharon Morgan (Contributions by), Thomas Norman Dewolf (Contributions by), Bill Sizemore (Contributions by), Karen Stewart-Ross (Contributions by), Sara Jenkins (Contributions by), David Terrett Beumée (Contributions by), Debian Marty (Contributions by), Tammarrah Lee (Contributions by), Elissa Pearmain (Contributions by), Sarah Kohrs (Contributions by), Betty Kilby-Baldwin (Contributions by), Phoebe Kilby (Contributions by), Fabrice Guerrier (Contributions by), Jill Strauss (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781978800762
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Rutgers University Press - May 10th, 2019