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Now Lila Knows (Hardcover)


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Caribbean professor Lila Bonnard arrives in Vermont for a short-term teaching position and is forced to confront the terrible legacy of American (in)justice

"In Now Lila Knows, Elizabeth Nunez has crafted an indelible saga, one that is both of the times and timeless; both personal and universal. This beautifully, masterfully written novel is at once a compelling love story, a crucial exploration of the contemporary immigrant experience, and a trenchant critique of American racism."
--Mitchell S. Jackson, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of The Residue Years

"Timely and essential, Now Lila Knows is a luminous story of discovery and the consequences
of being Black in America."
--Bernice L. McFadden, author of The Book of Harlan

"Now Lila Knows is a tale of empathy that comes at the necessary cost, however delayed, of losing one's innocence, of trading it for a harsher, more urgent reality. By encircling the reader in what they might think they know--about America, about the Caribbean, and the spaces in between--Elizabeth Nunez challenges us to answer for ourselves not only what we know, but also what we are prepared to do. The magic of this novel is that it opens a window to Black life in America through the eyes of an immigrant. A must read."
--Kevin Adonis Browne, OCM Bocas Prize winner, author of High Mas

Lila Bonnard has left her island home in the Caribbean to join the faculty as a visiting professor at Mayfield College in a small Vermont town. On her way from the airport to Mayfield, Lila witnesses the fatal shooting of a Black man by the police. It turns out that the victim was a professor at Mayfield, and was giving CPR to a white woman who was on the verge of an opioid overdose.

The two Black faculty and a Black administrator in the otherwise all-white college expect Lila to be a witness
in the case against the police. Unfortunately, Lila fears that in the current hostile political climate against immigrants of color she may jeopardize her position at the college by speaking out, and her fianc advises her to remain neutral.

Now Lila Knows is a gripping story that explores our obligation to act when confronted with the unfair treatment of fellow human beings. A page-turner with universal resonance, this novel will leave readers rethinking the meaning of love and empathy.

About the Author

Elizabeth Nunez is the award-winning author of a memoir and nine novels, four of them selected as New York Times Editors' Choices. Anna In-Between won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award and was long-listed for an IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award. Nunez also received the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in nonfiction for Not for Everyday Use; an American Book Award for Bruised Hibiscus; and a NALIS Lifetime Literary Award from the Trinidad and Tobago National Library. Her other novels are: Even in Paradise, Boundaries, Prospero's Daughter, Beyond the Limbo Silence, Grace, Discretion, and When Rocks Dance. She is a cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference and executive producer of the CUNY-TV series Black Writers in America. Nunez is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, where she teaches courses on fiction writing and Caribbean women writers. She divides her time between Amityville and Brooklyn, New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781636140247
ISBN-10: 1636140246
Publisher: Akashic Books
Publication Date: June 7th, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English