Author Rachel M. Harper Discusses ‘The Other Mother’

Published on May 16, 2022

Novelist Rachel M. Harper presents her book, “The Other Mother,” a page-turning generational saga about a young man’s search for a parent he never knew, and a moving portrait of motherhood, race, and the truths hidden in the name of family, in an event at Vroman’s Bookstore Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m.

In the book, Harper tells the story of Jenry Castillo, a musical prodigy raised by a single mother in Miami. Jenry arrives at Brown University on a scholarship – but also to learn more about his late father, Jasper Patterson, a famous ballet dancer who died tragically when Jenry was two. On his search, he meets his estranged grandfather, Winston Patterson, a legendary professor of African American history and a fixture at the Ivy League school, who explodes his world with one question: Why is Jenry so focused on Jasper, when it was Winston’s daughter, Juliet, who was romantically involved with Jenry’s mother? Juliet is the parent he should be looking for – his other mother. Revelation follows revelation as each member of Jenry’s family steps forward to tell the story of his origin, uncovering a web of secrecy that binds this family together even as it keeps them apart.

Moving seamlessly between the past and the present, “The Other Mother” is a daring, ambitious novel that celebrates the complexities of love and resilience – masterfully exploring the intersections of race, class, and sexuality; the role of biology in defining who belongs to whom; and the complicated truth of what it means to be a family.

Rachel M. Harper will be in conversation with  Daniel Alexander Jones, award-winning performance artist, playwright, director, essayist and educator.

This is an in-person event. By visiting Vroman’s, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. Masks are strongly encouraged.

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