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UNF presents an evening with author Deesha Philyaw tonight

Headshot of Deesha PhilyawThe University of North Florida is proud to present a free reading, Q&A, and book signing featuring best-selling author and Jacksonville native Deesha Philyaw from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at UNF’s Lazzara Performance Hall.

This event is sponsored by the UNF Digital Humanities Institute, the Interfaith Center, and a grant from the Florida Humanities Council. It is part of UNF’s The Justice Sessions, an ongoing series focusing on race, social justice, the arts, and Jacksonville's past and present. 

Philyaw is the author of a debut short story collection released in 2020, “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” that features nine stories showing four generations of Black female characters who grapple with who they want to be in the world. The collection explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good.

The collection won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and a 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. The book was also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction and is being developed for television by Tessa Thompson for HBO Max.

Philyaw is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and will be the 2022-23 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is a past Pushcart Prize nominee for essay writing in Full Grown People. She is also the author of “Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce.”

This event is free but registration is required. Register via Eventbrite.