Join us for the launch of Krystal Sital's family memoir Secrets We Kept in conversation with Sheila Kohler.
About the Book
There, in a lush landscape of fire-petaled immortelle trees and vast plantations of coffee and cocoa, where the three hills along the southern coast act as guardians against hurricanes, Krystal A. Sital grew up idolizing her grandfather, a wealthy Hindu landowner. Years later, to escape crime and economic stagnation on the island, the family resettled in New Jersey, where Krystal's mother works as a nanny, and the warmth of Trinidad seems a pretty yet distant memory. But when her grandfather lapses into a coma after a fall at home, the women he has terrorized for decades begin to speak, and a brutal past comes to light.
In the lyrical patois of her mother and grandmother, Krystal learns the long-held secrets of their family's past, and what it took for her foremothers to survive and find strength in themselves. The relief of sharing their stories draws the three women closer, the music of their voices and care for one another easing the pain of memory.
Violence, a rigid ethnic and racial caste system, and a tolerance of domestic abuse--the harsh legacies of plantation slavery--permeate the history of Trinidad. On the island's plantations, in its growing cities, and in the family's new home in America, Secrets We Kept tells a story of ambition and cruelty, endurance and love, and most of all, the bonds among women and between generations that help them find peace with the past.
About Krystal Sital
Krystal is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Secrets We Kept. A PEN award finalist, her work has appeared in the NYTimes Magazine, NYTimes—Well, Salon, Today’s Parent, Catapult, LitHub, AAWW, The Caribbean Writer, and elsewhere. She lives in New Jersey with her partner and their three, little geniuses.
About Sheila Kohler
Sheila Kohler is the author of ten novels, three volumes of short fiction, a memoir, and many essays. Her most recent novel is Dreaming for Freud (Penguin) based on the Dora case. Her memoir Once we were sisters is out with Penguin as well as Canongate in England. She has won numerous prizes including the O.Henry twice and been included in Best American Short Stories most recently in 2013. Her work has been published in thirteen countries. She has taught at Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, Bennington and at Princeton since 2007.Her novel Cracks was made into a film with directors Jordan and Ridley Scott with Eva Green playing Miss G. You can find her blog at Psychology Today under Dreaming for Freud.
Please note there is a $5 entrance voucher for this event which can be purchased in advance or at the door. The voucher is good towards anything in store at WORD, including SECRETS WE KEPT. Please note that if you are purchasing the book directly from WORD at the event or via pre-order there is no need to purchase a voucher for admission.
This voucher is good towards entrance to this event in our Jersey City location. The $5 voucher can be used towards anything in the store, including Secrets We Kept! Please note that if a copy of the event book is purchased at the store, there is no need to purchase a voucher as well.
An eloquent new Caribbean literary voice reveals the hidden trauma and fierce resilience of one Trinidadian family.
ONE OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE’S BEST NEW BOOKS
“A searing and intimate memoir about love turned deadly.” —The BBC
“An intimate illumination of sisterhood and loss.” —People