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Evenings with an Author: Ladee Hubbard, The Talented Ribkins
18 September 2019 @ 19 h 30 min - 21 h 00 min
Ladee Hubbard will be discussing her novel, The Talented Ribkins. Inspired by W.E.B. Dubois’ 1903 essay, “The Talented Tenth,” the book tells the story of an African-American family from Florida, each member of which is born with a unique talent: one can see in the dark, one can pick any lock, another can scale any wall, etc. These gifts are of dubious practical value and, because many of the Ribkins have no idea what to do with them, often assume the form of idiosyncratic compulsions. Structured as a road novel, the book was conceived as an allegory of African-American life during the second half of the twentieth century. In writing it, she was particularly interested in the meaning of “talent,” its relation to notions of African-American mobility and its role in the mediation of a sense of responsibility to a wider community.