Black, Indigenous, and white women authors are bringing their distinctive faith journeys to the fore in new books. The three authors below aren’t well-known—yet. But publishers expect that their voices will resonate with many women, whom they predict will feel seen and celebrated in these upcoming works.
A theologian, social psychologist, activist, and the founder and director of the Center for Justice + Renewal, Cleveland endeavors to open readers’ eyes—and minds—in her new book, God Is a Black Woman (HarperOne, Feb. 2022). It tracks her intellectual and spiritual journey across France to visit Black Madonna works of religious art. Cleveland finds herself in “the Sacred Black Feminine,” which she describes in the book as “the God who definitively declares that Black Women—who exist at the bottom of the white male God’s social pecking order—not only matter but are sacred. And in doing so, She declares that all living beings are sacred.”
“Cleveland’s message of dismantling toxic masculinity and replacing it with an inclusive vision of the sacred could not be more timely,” says Anna Paustenbach, senior editor at HarperOne. “Hers is one that is shared among many but not talked about in the mainstream.”
An Anishinaabe Ukrainian writer from the Canadian Lac Seul First Nation, Krawec is also a cohost of the Medicine for the Resistance podcast and a member of Chippawa Presbyterian Church. She addresses racism and the lingering impact of colonialism on Western history, culture, and spirituality in her upcoming book, Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future (Broadleaf. Sept. 2022). In it, she writes about a drum circle in which Native and non-Native participants sang traditional songs with universal syllables that “mimic our first words, that cry we give as infants for our mother. These songs are cries to our Mother, the Earth.”
Broadleaf acquisitions editor Valerie Weaver-Zercher calls the book “a breathtaking reconsideration of who we have been and who we might yet become.” She says that by “braiding together historical, scientific, and cultural analysis; Indigenous ways of knowing; and the vivid threads of communal memory, Krawec crafts a stunning, forceful call to ‘unforget’ our history.”
Morgan debuts with her Tyndale Momentum title The Astronaut’s Wife: How Launching My Husband into Outer Space Changed the Way I Live on Earth (Feb. 2022). Her husband, Army colonel turned NASA astronaut Drew Morgan, lifted off for a nine-month space flight in 2019, leaving her to care for their children. Morgan, who is also an executive leadership coach for MOPS International, a Christian organization that encourages mothers, works with MOPS to help women face stress, fear, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on her personal experiences with these issues, Morgan writes in the book that no matter how crazy things got, she always forged ahead, armed with faith and friendships, because “God desires that we live in community.”
She makes her adventurous, challenging life relatable for readers. “We get lonely; we get overwhelmed and scared; we don’t know how to ask for help,” says publisher Sarah Atkinson, adding that despite risk, hardships, and sacrifice, “one of the heartbeats of The Astronaut’s Wife is to show the incredible things that can happen when we say yes to the opportunities God is inviting us to pursue.”
A version of this article appeared in the 11/22/2021 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Spiritual Wisdom from Different Wells