And It Begins Like This weaves together historical and genealogical research, folklore, Biblical passages, literary theory and criticism, and personal memory to examine the legacy of slavery and its relationship to Black female identity in contemporary America. Excerpts of And It Begins Like This have been published in Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, The Los Angeles Review, Carve Magazine, Bennington Review, Passages North, The Adroit Journal, and have won the Harper Palate Prize in Creative Nonfiction and the Disquiet Prize in Nonfiction. One of the essays has been listed as a “Notable Mention” in Best American Essays.
And It Begins Like This is available for pre-order through Black Lawrence Press and will be published in October.
“This collection of essays reveals an impressive new voice, both poignant and observant. McQueen suggests loneliness is also the accomplishment of understanding how far away you can move from other people’s expectations. Her clarity rings brightly throughout these works of self-discovery and cultural re-connection.” —Wendy S. Walters
“LaTanya McQueen writes with fierce eloquence about the legacies of family and America’s racial history. Balancing intimate investigation with intricate research, she traces the ways the past is bloodline to the present. Gripping, urgent, at times even shocking, this is a deeply important book, one I will be thinking about for a long time. McQueen is a writer— and a mind—to watch.” —Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
“LaTanya McQueen’s essays offer a bold examination of the weight history, both personal and societal, places on our present moment. And it Begins Like This is a book brave enough to challenge our accepted notions of the past to put black women in their rightful place, in the forefront of the ongoing struggle for dignity and equality. It’s a book that is both moving and absolutely necessary.” —Rion Scott