A debut hybrid-memoir from Caitlyn Hunter, an inaugural Emerging Black Artists in Residence at Chatham.
Digging into the history of ourselves, the stories we tell are just as important as the facts—who was there, who rose above, how they did it, if they did it. There isn’t one long line connecting us to our ancestors; there is a constellation. Mixing history with folktales, Caitlyn Hunter’s POWER IN THE TONGUE centers not Black pain, but Black perseverance spanning centuries. In this hybrid of memoir and fiction, Hunter holds a mirror up to herself and in her reflection shows us ancestors, hypothetical and real, as well as a present world of oscillating tensions. She creates an interior world infused with magic, tricksters, talking animals, chopped hair, red and blue flashing lights, Pittsburgh steel. There is power in the tongue and the things it can say.
“POWER IN THE TONGUE sings a song of survival. But Hunter's words challenge the act of surviving to do more. Her essays weave a familial tapestry of magic, trauma, defiance, and the cyclical rebirth of Black Women across generations. By breathing "truth into the fables" of her ancestors, she creates life from their stories, making sure their songs continue to be heard." — Nicole Lourette, Editor
Nonfiction. Memoir. Hybrid.
Caitlyn Hunter serves as one of the inaugural Emerging Black Artists in Residence at Chatham. Caitlyn Hunter is a current doctoral student in the English Department at Duquesne University where she studied African American literature and pop culture. She holds a MFA from Chatham University. She currently lives in Pittsburgh PA. Her book, POWER IN THE TONGUE, is her first publication.