Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

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The reissue of Elizabeth Nunez’s moving exploration into trust, family, redemption, and love.

$17.95 $13.46

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“Extremely deserving of its title, this gorgeous, meditative book is a graceful rendering of one couple’s journeys and explorations toward and away from each other. A moving love story, it shows us how a deferred dream can erode a marriage and how grace can sometimes put us to the test, even as it redeems.”
Edwidge Danticat, author of Claire of the Sea Light

“Highly recommended . . . a deeply felt and compassionate novel. Wise and resonant, it will strike a chord with readers.”
Library Journal

“Nunez is able to write the interior monologue of a changing mind, to show grace at work in the human heart.”
Book Street USA

“An exquisite love story . . . Once again, accomplished author Elizabeth Nunez lends readers her remarkable voice in this masterfully crafted story.”
New American

“Grace speaks to our propensity for self-delusion that cripples our relationship with ourselves and with those we profess to care deeply about.”
Black Issues Book Review


Justin and Sally Peters, both passionate educators—Justin, a hardened, Harvard-educated professor of British and classic literature at a small public Brooklyn college, and Sally, a gentle and spirited elementary school teacher teaching her students that happiness and joy require strength and perseverance—have had a calm and loving marriage, graciously enlivened by their curious four-year-old daughter, Giselle.

Suddenly Sally, coming from a wrought past punctured with loss, begins to pull away from the man in whom she originally found comfort and safety. When Giselle starts asking him if Mommy is okay, Justin worries that Sally is on the verge of leaving him. Is she harboring feelings for a lost lover or, Justin wonders, was she ever really meant to be his wife? As Sally retreats deeper and deeper into herself, Justin wonders if her past has really come to claim her once and for all.

While Justin reads Hamlet to his students, he tries to find answers in the literature that became his profession. There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow, Hamlet concludes. Let be. Does Shakespeare know how to keep Sally from leaving? Should Justin do nothing and wait for Sally to right herself? How deep can he read before he knows how to keep his family together?

As deep snow falls in Brooklyn, Justin and Sally’s relationship is put to the test. What once was a warm and cozy marriage bed becomes as cold as the encroaching winter frost. Kept in orbit by their curious daughter, Giselle, the couple must decide if staying together is in everyone’s best interest.

Elizabeth Nunez’s classic fifth novel follows Justin and Sally through the harrowing trials of love and family and offers a remarkably tender introspection into the aching and sometimes harsh downturns of a modern-age love story.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Published: 10/18/16
  • IBSN: 9781617755439
  • e-IBSN: 9781617755446
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617755484


ELIZABETH NUNEZ is the award-winning author of a memoir and ten 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, 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. Now Lila Knows is her latest novel.

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