I propose to work on completing a first draft of Another Life, a story about family, grief, and becoming that will be, after two story collections, my debut novel. Beginning in 1990s New York City, it centers one family, the Carters, as they weather three life-altering losses. As the novel opens, a sudden turn of events fractures the family, leaving Jade, the eldest daughter, and Richard, the only son, most vulnerable. I envision Another Life as a book structured in three parts, each of which introduces another loss, a new absence. The first is the flight of the family’s matriarch, the second is a murder due to police violence, the third is the family being dispossessed of their home. Another Life seeks to explore what seems to be a crucial question of African American history: how do people endure, survive—and even thrive, innovate, create, and become transformative—in the face of overwhelming pain and loss?
The photograph of Jamel Brinkley was taken by Arash Saedinia.