History Book Festival author to discuss debut novel Sept. 2

August 25, 2021

Award-winning poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers will discuss her debut novel during a History Book Festival program at 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 2, via Zoom.

“The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois” explores the history of a Black family in the American South from the time before the Civil War through the civil rights movement and up to the present.

The program will include a question-and-answer session following the author’s presentation.

“The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois” tells the story of Ailey Pearl Garfield, the youngest daughter of Dr. Geoff Garfield, a light-skinned physician in Washington, D.C., and Belle Driskell Garfield, a Southern schoolteacher. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, Ailey seeks to come to terms with her identity by journeying through her family’s past, uncovering tales of generations of ancestors – Indigenous, Black and white – in the Deep South. She discovers a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story – and the song – of America itself.

Jeffers is a fiction writer, poet and essayist who teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of five poetry collections, including “The Age of Phillis,” which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.

The Zoom-based program is free, but preregistration is required. To reserve a spot, go to

Copies of “The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois” are available at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, the official bookseller of the History Book Festival. Biblion in Lewes also has copies of the book for sale. Books purchased at either shop come with a signed archival bookplate.

Presenting sponsors of the 2021 festival are Delaware Humanities and the Lee Ann Wilkinson Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty.

In addition to the Lewes Public Library, the festival’s virtual programs are supported by the Delaware Division of Libraries and Sussex County Libraries.

Now in its fifth year, the History Book Festival is the first and only book festival in the United States devoted exclusively to history. 

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