Moonrise Over New Jessup

Winner of the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, this thought-provoking and enchanting debut follows the story of a young Black woman doing whatever it takes to protect her family and her community as she and her husband push for change at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama. After leaving the only home she has ever known in 1957, Alice Young steps off the bus into all-Black New Jessup, Alabama, where residents have largely rejected integration as the means for Black social advancement. In this place, Alice falls in love with Raymond Campbell, whose clandestine organizing activity challenges New Jessup’s longstanding status quo and could lead to the young couple’s expulsion—or worse—from the home they both hold dear. But as Raymond continues to push alternatives for enhancing the New Jessup’s political power, Alice must find a way to balance her undying support for his underground work with her desire to protect New Jessup from the rising pressure of upheaval from inside, and outside, their side of town.