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Mary-Alice’s Daniel’s family moved from West Africa to England when she was a child, uprooting from their native land in the Nigerian savanna. Five immigrants entered a prim, cold environment with few familiar features. So began their nomadic course across three continents in search of places of belonging. With a deeply intimate approach, the ‘American-African’ author peers inside the spiritual contrasts of her heritage: Islam, Christianity, & magic. Layered narratives invoke real and imagined ancestors, unweaving uneasy origins.
“An absolutely fascinating work from a gifted storyteller.”— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review & “Best Nonfiction Books of 2022”
“Read this book once for the furious beauty of Daniel’s prose. Read it again for a master class in how we might finally come to tell our stories on our own terms.”— The New York Times
“A melodious exploration of Nigeria… a breathtaking story of tracing history and finding home.”— People, “Book of the Week”
“An incandescent debut… This is a gem.”— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Mary-Alice Daniel was born near the border between Niger/Nigeria. She grew up in England and Tennessee. After attending Yale University, she earned an MFA from the University of Michigan. She is a Cave Canem Fellow who holds a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California.
MASS FOR SHUT-INS, her debut poetry collection, won the 2022 Yale Younger Poets Prize (forthcoming on March 21st, 2023).
Her first book of prose, A COASTLINE IS AN IMMEASURABLE THING: A MEMOIR ACROSS THREE CONTINENTS, was released by HarperCollins/Ecco Press on November 29, 2022.
Those who are interested in purchasing A Coastline is an Immeasurable Thing before this talk can order directly from Books Inc. via their website.