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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie : Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection - Ayana Mathis

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection

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For fans of Toni Morrison, an unforgettably powerful novel about a mother's courage, sacrifice and love, set against the volatile history of twentieth century America.

When Hattie clambered from a train, her skirt still hemmed with Georgia mud and the dream of Philadelphia sitting round as a marble in her mouth, she couldn't guess that two years later, aged sixteen, she'd be fighting to keep her baby twins alive.

Saddled with a husband who will bring her nothing but disappointment, she raises nine children with grit and monumental courage, but no tenderness. She knows the world will not be kind to them and wants to prepare them as best she can. As her sons and daughters buck against their fates, she feels every one of their triumphs and heartbreaks, for they are all bound together.

A searing portrait of twentieth century America told through the story of an unforgettable family, a transfixing drama of bitterness and love and a ferocious vision of humanity at its rawest; The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is a debut of extraordinary distinction.

About the Author

Ayana Mathis lives in New York. This is her first novel.


Deeper than you think


Enjoyable book. Good insight into black and white lives in the USA.



An interesting read


Another insight to the 'cultural tide' of the era. I personally found this a bitter sweet novel~ with empathy oscillating between the mother and her 'tribe'

Flinders View. Queensland


The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

4.0 2


"Ms. Mathis has a gift for imbuing her characters' stories with an epic dimension that recalls Toni Morrison's writing, and her sense of time and place and family will remind some of Louise Erdrich, but her elastic voice is thoroughly her own - both lyrical and unsparing, meditative and visceral, and capable of giving the reader nearly complete access to her characters' minds and hearts." -- Michiko Kakutani * New York Times * "The opening pages of Ayana's debut took my breath away. I can't remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison." -- Oprah Winfrey "`A vibrant and compassionate portrait of a family hardened and scattered by circumstance and yet deeply a family. Its language is elegant in its purity and rigor. The characters are full of life, mingled thing that it is, and dignified by the writer's judicious tenderness towards them. This first novel is a work of rare maturity.'" * Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of GILEAD and Orange Prize-winner of HOME * "`Beautiful and necessary from the very first sentence. The human lives it renders are on every page lowdown and glorious, fallen and redeemed, and all at the same time. They would be too heartbreaking to follow, in fact, were they not observed in such a generous and artful spirit of hope, in a spirit of mercy, in the spirit of love. A treasure of a novel.'" * Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of TINKERS *

ISBN: 9780091944193
ISBN-10: 0091944198
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 2nd January 2013
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.5  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1