The Many Layers of Charmaine Wilkerson’s “Black Cake”


This week on The question of writingLauren talks to novelist Charmaine Wilkerson, author of black cake (Ballantine Books), a novel about legacies, small and deep – like a recipe for black cake, passed down from a mother to her children, learned through demonstration, conversation and closeness; Wilkerson writes in the novel, “Making black cake was like managing a relationship. The recipe, on paper, was quite simple. Its success depended on the quality of the ingredients, but above all on the proper handling of them. » black cake is the story of a mother, a woman, whose traumas and stories she hid from her children – children who, after her death, are forced to confront their mother’s past, as well as their own identity in the light of such shocking revelations.

About Charmaine:

Charmaine Wilkerson is originally from New York, has lived in Jamaica and writes much of her writing in Italy. A former information and communications professional, she has published award-winning articles in various anthologies and magazines. Her first novel black cake is a New York Times Bestseller and #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick. A screen series based on the novel is currently in development for Hulu.

Charmaine Wilkerson recommends:

Anancy and Miss Lou by Louise Bennett (Sangster’s Book Stores)

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Grove Press, Black Cat)

Olive Kitteridge and Oliver again by Elizabeth Strout (Penguin Random House)

Luck Joy Club by Amy Tan (Penguin Random House)

brunette girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades (Penguin Random House)

A little hope by Ethan Joella (Scribner)

Olga dies dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez (Flatiron Books)

Lauren Korn recommends:

Back home by Yaa Gyasi (Alfred A. Knopf)

The mothers and The evanescent half by Britt Bennett (Riverhead Books)

The question of writing the team is Lauren Kornhost and co-producer; Pierre Hoag, co-producer and publisher; and Tom Berichsound engineer.

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