Underbrush Book Club (Subscription)

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Voted one of the best books of 2021by NPR and The Washington Post, Wake is a powerful graphic memoir about author and activist Rebecca Hall's journey to uncover the truth behind "women warriors".

Using a combination of visual storytelling, personal life events, and narrative nonfiction, Hall creates a novel that will grip you from cover to cover. Her poignant writing gives a voice to people who’s voices were stolen from them, and corrects assertions that for centuries have been taken as fact about the lives of enslaved people in America.

Wake tells the “riveting” (Angela Y. Davis) story of Dr. Rebecca Hall, a historian, granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. The accepted history of slave revolts has always told her that enslaved women took a back seat. But Rebecca decides to look deeper, and her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women from the “negro burying ground” uncovered in Manhattan. She finds women warriors everywhere.

Using a “remarkable blend of passion and fact, action and reflection” (NPR), Rebecca constructs the likely pasts of Adono and Alele, women rebels who fought for freedom during the Middle Passage, as well as the stories of women who led slave revolts in Colonial New York. We also follow Rebecca’s own story as the legacy of slavery shapes her life, both during her time as a successful attorney and later as a historian seeking the past that haunts her.

Illustrated beautifully in black and white, Wake will take its place alongside classics of the graphic novel genre, like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. This story of a personal and national legacy is a powerful reminder that while the past is gone, we still live in its wake.

  • August book pick
  • Book club questions
  • Access to our monthly Zoom meeting
  • Underbrush tote-bag (First time members only)

    Boxes will begin shipping on 8/4. The meeting will take place remotely on Tuesday, September 13th at 7:30 CST.

    Want to try out Underbrush for a month? You can purchase a one-time subscription here.