Alicia Augello-Cook Dean, known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an American musician, singer, composer, actress and pianist. A classically-trained pianist, Keys was composing songs by age 12 and was signed at 15 years old by Columbia Records.

  • A Fine Balance

    With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.,As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.

  • Good Talk

    Mira Jacob’s touching, often humorous, and utterly unique graphic memoir takes readers on her journey as a first-generation American. At an increasingly fraught time for immigrants and their families, , delves into the difficult conversations about race, sex, love, and family that seem to be unavoidable these days.,Inspired by her popular , piece “37 Difficult Questions from My Mixed-Raced Son,” here are Jacob’s responses to her six-year-old, Zakir, who asks if the new president hates brown boys like him; uncomfortable relationship advice from her parents, who came to the United States from India one month into their arranged marriage; and the imaginary therapy sessions she has with celebrities from Bill Murray to Madonna. Jacob also investigates her own past, from her memories of being the only non-white fifth grader to win a Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest to how it felt to be a brown-skinned New Yorker on 9/11. As earnest and moving as they are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, these are the stories that have formed one American life.

  • Invisible Man

    First published in 1952 and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, , is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature. For not only does Ralph Ellison’s nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be.,As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying “battle royal” where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist rally where they are elevated to the status of trophies, Ralph Ellison’s nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief. Suspenseful and sardonic, narrated in a voice that takes in the symphonic range of the American language, black and white, , is one of the most audacious and dazzling novels of our century.

  • My ??ntonia

    Through Jim Burden’s endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland, with all its insistent bonds. Guiding the way are some of literature’s most beguiling characters: the Russian brothers plagued by memories of a fateful sleigh ride, Antonia’s desperately homesick father and self-indulgent mother, and the coy Lena Lingard. Holding the pastoral society’s heart, of course, is the bewitching, free-spirited Antonia.

  • Purple Hibiscus

    Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They’re completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home???a home that is silent and suffocating.,As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father???s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins??? laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together., is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.

  • Song of the Cuckoo Bird

    Malladi’s fourth novel transports readers on a cinematic journey through late-twentieth-century India as seen through the eyes of the inhabitants of Tella Meda, a religious community on the Bay of Bengal. Kokila comes to the ashram in 1961 as an 11-year-old orphan. She later renounces her arranged marriage to stay within Tella Meda’s restrictive walls, a move she comes to regret. The ashram’s guru attracts a cast of misfits from near and far–widows, abused wives and their neglected children, the daughter of a prostitute, a father guilty over his daughter’s suicide–each illuminated by Malladi in her kaleidoscopic perusal of both the ills of India’s caste system and the repercussions of rigid moral dicta. Running historical updates on India’s wars, elections, and assassinations introduce each chapter. But the crux of the novel is how Malladi’s female characters struggle with the stifling effects of caste and gradually respond to the movement for women’s rights that surges as the century draws to a close.

  • The House at Sugar Beach

    Journalist Helene Cooper examines the violent past of her home country Liberia and the effects of its 1980 military coup in this deeply personal memoir and finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award.,Helene Cooper is ???Congo,??? a descendant of two Liberian dynasties???traced back to the first ship of freemen that set sail from New York in 1820 to found Monrovia. Helene grew up at Sugar Beach, a twenty-two-room mansion by the sea. Her childhood was filled with servants, flashy cars, a villa in Spain, and a farmhouse up-country. It was also an African childhood, filled with knock foot games and hot pepper soup, heartmen and neegee. When Helene was eight, the Coopers took in a foster child???a common custom among the Liberian elite. Eunice, a Bassa girl, suddenly became known as ???Mrs. Cooper???s daughter.???,For years the Cooper daughters???Helene, her sister Marlene, and Eunice???blissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage. But Liberia was like an unwatched pot of water left boiling on the stove. And on April 12, 1980, a group of soldiers staged a coup d’??tat, assassinating President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet. The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted, being imprisoned, shot, tortured, and raped. After a brutal daylight attack by a ragtag crew of soldiers, Helene, Marlene, and their mother fled Sugar Beach, and then Liberia, for America. They left Eunice behind.,A world away, Helene tried to assimilate as an American teenager. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she found her passion in journalism, eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She reported from every part of the globe???except Africa???as Liberia descended into war-torn, third-world hell.,In 2003, a near-death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberia???and Eunice???could wait no longer. At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country, The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy, forgiveness, and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor’s gentle humor. And at its heart, it is a story of Helene Cooper???s long voyage home.

  • The Opposite of Spoiled

    In the spirit of Wendy Mogel???s, and Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman???s , ???Your Money??? columnist Ron Lieber delivers a taboo-shattering manifesto that explains how talking openly to children about money can help parents raise modest, patient, grounded young adults who are financially wise beyond their years.,For Ron Lieber, a personal finance columnist and father, good parenting means talking about money with our kids. Children are hyper-aware of money, and they have scores of questions about its nuances. But when parents shy away from the topic, they lose a tremendous opportunity???not just to model the basic financial behaviors that are increasingly important for young adults but also to imprint lessons about what the family truly values.,Written in a warm, accessible voice, grounded in real-world experience and stories from families with a range of incomes,, is both a practical guidebook and a values-based philosophy. The foundation of the book is a detailed blueprint for the best ways to handle the basics: the tooth fairy, allowance, chores, charity, saving, birthdays, holidays, cell phones, checking accounts, clothing, cars, part-time jobs, and college tuition. It identifies a set of traits and virtues that embody the opposite of spoiled, and shares how to embrace the topic of money to help parents raise kids who are more generous and less materialistic.,But , is also a promise to our kids that we will make them better with money than we are. It is for all of the parents who know that honest conversations about money with their curious children can help them become more patient and prudent, but who don???t know how and when to start.

  • The Secret Life of Bees

    Set in South Carolina in 1964, , tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

  • The Temple of My Familiar

    A visionary cast of characters weave together their past and present in a brilliantly intricate tapestry of tales.,It is the story of the dispossessed and displaced, of peoples whose history is ancient and whose future is yet to come. Here we meet Lissie, a woman of many pasts; Arveyda the great guitarist and his Latin American wife who has had to flee her homeland; Suwelo, the history teacher, and his former wife Fanny who has fallen in love with spirits. Hovering tantalisingly above their stories are Miss Celie and Shug, the beloved characters from THE COLOUR PURPLE.

  • The Voice of Knowledge

    In THE VOICE OF KNOWLEDGE, Miguel Ruiz reminds us of a profound and simple truth: The only way to end our emotional suffering and restore our joy I living is to stop believing in lies – mainly about ourselves. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, this breakthrough book shows us how to recover our faith in the truth and return to our own common sense.,Ruiz changes the way we perceive ourselves, and the way we perceive other people. Then he opens the door to a reality that we once perceived when we were one and two years old – a reality of truth, love, and joy.

  • The Warmth of Other Suns

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize???winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. ,From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.,With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.,Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, , is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an ???unrecognized immigration??? within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.

  • We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting for

    A , bestseller in hardcover, Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker???s , was called ???stunningly insightful??? and ???a book that will inspire hope??? by ,.,Drawing equally on Walker???s spiritual grounding and her progressive political convictions, each chapter concludes with a recommended meditation to teach us patience, compassion, and forgiveness. , takes on some of the greatest challenges of our times and in it Walker encourages readers to take faith in the fact that, despite the daunting predicaments we find ourselves in, we are uniquely prepared to create positive change.,The hardcover edition of , included a national tour that saw standing-room???only crowds and standing ovations. Walker???s clear vision and calm meditative voice???truly “a light in darkness”???has struck a deep chord among a large and devoted readership.

  • Women Who Run with the Wolves

    Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller shows how women’s vitality can be restored through what she calls “psychic archeological digs” into the ruins of the female unconsious. Using multicultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, Dr. Estes helps women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype.,Dr. Estes has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.