Photo Credit: Samia Minnicks Photography

“This is in many ways a quiet novel, and Minnicks’s writing is at its best when detailing the small, human interactions that mark Alice’s transition from country girl to Campbell matriarch. The novel delves smartly into the distinction between the fight for equal rights and the fight for integration, though Alice’s focus on those she cares for short changes her own internal growth arc. However, through Alice, Minnicks provides a nuanced and realistic portrayal of the personal costs of fighting for change.” New York Times Book Review, Overlooked Black History, in Three Novels (Alyssa Cole)

“Moonrise Over New Jessup is a fresh, gripping civil rights-era story told with verve and tenderness. Jamila Minnicks’s propulsive prose had me flying through these pages. A terrific debut!” —Deesha Philyaw, award winning and bestselling author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“My favorite novels light up my brain with things I hadn’t considered before – and this one does exactly that. The deep complexity of the American Civil Rights movement; the various, sometimes opposing approaches of its leaders to desegregation; the gains and inevitable casualties that social progress can claim. With compelling characters and a heart-pounding plot, Jamila Minnicks pulled me into pages of history I’d never turned before.”—Barbara Kingsolver, award winning and bestselling author of Demon Copperhead

“An outstanding writer, Minnicks excels at capturing the atmosphere and issues of a specific locale at a particular time, the Deep South at the dawn of the civil rights era. This highly recommended title is an excellent choice for book discussion groups and would make a great movie.”Library Journal Starred Review

“Elegant and nuanced, Moonrise Over New Jessup is an incandescent work of art through-and-through, from a powerful new voice.”—Jason Mott, author of National Book Award winner Hell of a Book

“Alice’s voice, her witty, generous, keenly observant, utterly compelling voice, will be with me for a long time. And the world of New Jessup that she evokes — not just her beloved, Raymond, and his family, but the whole community, each character so vividly drawn, from Miss Vivian to Patience to the ghost of Rosie, who hovers, for Alice, behind so much — that too is now part of my lived experience, as well as their struggles to preserve the integrity and autonomy of New Jessup in a period of great transition, to ensure a fully independent thriving Black community — it’s a complex history I didn’t know, and Jamila Minnicks brings it alive so powerfully. This beautiful novel deserves, and I’m sure will find, many readers.”—Claire Messud, award winning and bestselling author of The Burning Girl

Named by Essence Magazine as One of the 31 Books You Must Read This Year

“I’m both sad that the general public will have to wait until Jan. 10 to read this novel and excited that they will have an extraordinary piece of literature to look forward to reading in the new year. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s a masterpiece and Jamila Minnicks is one of the best new writers to come along in a generation.” Washington Post Fourteen Books Your Favorite Authors are Reading (Robert Jones Jr.)

Named by The Root as January 2023 Books by Black Authors We Can’t Wait to Read

Noted by Book Riot as one of 10 New Historical Fiction Books Hitting the Shelves in January 2023

This thoughtful reflection by Emily Choate for Chapter 16 and The Nashville Scene which says at the end: “Alice’s dilemma illuminates the question of how much cumulative weight can be borne by a single, fallible human heart, and her compelling inner life drives the narrative power of Moonrise Over New Jessup. Minnicks reveals this glimpse into the battle over desegregation via Alice’s world. This choice reflects Alice’s desire to show her long-lost sister the new home she loves and where she has chosen to fight for the dream of a peaceful life — to show her that ‘this, too, was Alabama.’”

Chosen as the Diverse Spines February 2023 Spine of the Month

“Enlightening” “Moonrise Over New Jessup reminds us of the way that history gains a buffed gloss when we condense it into smooth movements. Minnicks’ novel keeps us from losing sight of how foggy the path forward actually was.”Minneapolis Star Tribune (Vikas Turakhia)

“An immersive and timely recasting of history by a gloriously talented writer to watch. You will fall in love with New Jessup: the town and the book.”—Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author of The Revisioners

“Jamila Minnicks has written an unforgettable debut, and announced herself as a writer to watch for years to come.”Chicago Review of Books, Twelve Must Read Books of January 2023

“With elegant, dreamlike prose and a hawk’s focus on the lived experiences of a community we rarely see, Moonrise Over New Jessup may be the first of a new vanguard devoted to telling the forgotten stories of the nation. Readers will share this book widely and return to it again and again.”—Maurice Carlos Ruffin, award winning and bestselling author of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You

Moonrise Over New Jessup reminds us that history is not a monolith, but is experienced by individuals and communities in different ways, mirroring the conflict and contradictions of everyday life.” —Southern Review of Books (Don J. Rath)

“In this impressive debut, Minnicks presents a fresh look at the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama. As the all-Black town of New Jessup considers integration, its residents are at odds with how to move forward. The book triumphs in its quest to offer a provocative perspective on racial justice, sovereignty and joy.”—Ms. Magazine, January 2023 Reads for the Rest of Us

Chosen for the LIT16 Quarterly Reading Series by Deesha Philyaw, Robert Jones, Jr., and Kiese Laymon

“I was awestruck by its beauty, rapt by its originality, and astounded by its depth. But what astonished me most was learning that this is a debut. The craftwork is extraordinary. Was this book dreamed into existence? Did the Ancestors themselves place this story in the writer’s mind? From page one, I knew this work would transform me. It expanded the way I imagine what is possible in the art form. More than interesting, it is integral. More than important, it is inspiring. Read this book. Cherish it. Protect it. You must. Right out of the gate, Jamila Minnicks’s Moonrise Over New Jessup is a masterpiece.” —Robert Jones, Jr., author of The New York Times bestselling novel, The Prophets

“An absolutely breathtaking debut that celebrates Blackness in all of its triumphs. Both an in-depth exploration of all-Black towns and a love story all the same, Jamila Minnicks has written a stunning and poignant modern classic.” January 2023 Indie Next List (Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem)

Called “a celebration of Black joy”, “timely”, and “a beautiful history novel” by a “beautiful writer” whose “sentences make you laugh and cry and fall into it.” by Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl

“No one who’s read Zora Neale Hurston ever forgets her Eatonville. So too will Jamila Minnicks’s New Jessup live on in the American imagination as both a place and an idea. Moonrise Over New Jessup is a staggeringly beautiful love letter to Blackness — particularly southern Blackness — that celebrates the joys, sadness, and multiplicity of existence outside the white gaze. An absolute triumph, Moonrise Over New Jessup confirms a major voice in Jamila Minnicks, a writer everyone should be watching.”—Dionne Irving, author of The Islands

Moonrise over New Jessup is a tender and beautifully written debut that shines light on the untold stories of the women who supported the foot soldiers of the bourgeoning civil rights movement. Warm and affecting, this book will draw you in with its heart.”—Heidi W. Durrow, award winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

“A beautifully written exploration of just some of the variety of opinions within the civil rights era Black community on freedom, equality, and safety.”Southern Bookseller Review (Ginger Kautz from Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina)

Named by Electric Literature as one of 62 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2023

“Warm moments of Black joy are well balanced by the weighty tension threaded throughout this debut to create historical fiction worth picking up.” BuzzFeed 14 Books Coming Out This Winter You Should Read (Kirby Beaton)

Selected for 20 Books to Read Right Now by LitHub

Awarded a Gold Medal by the Junior Library Guild

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