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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.  


Ladee is the author of the novel The Talented Ribkins which won both the Ernest J. Gaines Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. The french translation of The Talented Ribkins will be published in February 2020. Her second novel, The Rib King, is forthcoming from Harper Collins in September 2020. She is a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award and has received additional fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Hedgebrook, Sewanee Writers Conference and Sacatar Institute. Her short fiction has been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica and Callaloo among other literary journals. She received a BA from Princeton University, a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles and a MFA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is currently the Gulf South Writer in Residence at Tulane University’s Center for the Study of the Gulf South.
Photo by Vilma Samuliontye


18 September 2019
19 h 30 min - 21 h 00 min
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