by Laila Lalami
"What do you read, my lord?"
"Words, words, words."
About the Book Club
Join the Folger as we search the stacks for our favorite novels inspired by Shakespeare and the early modern era.
Held on the first Thursday of the month, this informal Book Club is free and open to all. Our picks range from historical fiction to adaptations of Shakespeare's plays and will be sourced from a different indie bookstore each month.
To spark the discussion, Folger staff will be on hand to provide historical context, throw in trivia, and speak to relevant items from the library collection.
Participation is free but registration is required. Sessions will be conducted through Zoom, so keep an eye on your inbox the day before for an access link, along with recommendations for quick bites and beverages to enjoy while we chat.
Our February Pick
The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami
In these pages, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the first Black explorer of America: Mustafa al-Zamori, called Estebanico. The slave of a Spanish conquistador, Estebanico sails for the Americas with his master, Dorantes, as part of a danger-laden expedition to Florida. Within a year, Estebanico is one of only four crew members to survive.
As he journeys across America with his Spanish companions, the Old World roles of slave and master fall away, and Estebanico remakes himself as an equal, a healer, and a remarkable storyteller. His tale illuminates the ways in which our narratives can transmigrate into history—and how storytelling can offer a chance at redemption and survival.
“Stunning...The Moor’s Account sheds light on all of the possible the New World exploration stories that didn’t make history.” —Huffington Post
Order Your Book
This month we are excited to partner with Duende District, a bookstore for and by people of color, where all are welcome.
Duende District is a boutique pop-up bookstore that specializes in the best new adult and children's books by Black and brown authors in English and Spanish, with locations in Washington, D.C., and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
You can find them online at duendedistrict.com. Let's build community.