MORGAN JERKINS discusses her new book of essays THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America (Harper Perennial)

Named one of the “most anticipated books of 2018” by The Millions, Esquire, Elle, Vogue, Nylon, Bustle, Refinery29, Huffington Post and more, This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America is Morgan Jerkins’s highly-anticipated debut collection of linked personal essays. This Will Be My Undoing is a compelling and revelatory meditation on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, racism, and what it means to exist as a black woman today – perfect for fans of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

As one of the fiercest and most powerful critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins is a rising star in the literary world. Praised by such icons as Roxane Gay and Alexander Chee, Jerkins establishes herself in This Will Be My Undoing as an insightful and brutally honest writer who isn’t afraid of tackling tough and controversial subjects. Not just a personal essay collection, Jerkins mines her own experience growing up black and female for moments that lead into bigger, more universal discussions about urgent issues facing black women today, such as the paradox of black female sexuality, dating men who say they “don’t see color”, and being objectified, silenced, and marginalized in ways that are rarely acknowledged in our country’s larger discussion about inequality.

Set against the backdrop of a divided nation under the Trump administration when racism and misogyny are on full public display, Jerkins masterfully tackles real issues about intersectionality, diversity, and privilege. Whether Jerkins is writing about the highly problematic Rachel Dolezal, “good hair,” being a black visitor in Russia, or her complex relationship with her own physical body, the portrait that emerges in This Will Be My Undoing is deeply intimate yet entirely universal.

Praise for This Will Be My Undoing 

“In Morgan Jerkins’s remarkable debut essay collection, This Will Be My Undoing, she is a deft cartographer of black girlhood and womanhood. From one essay to the next, Jerkins weaves the personal with the public and political in compelling, challenging ways. Her prodigious intellect and curiosity are on full display throughout this outstanding collection. The last line of the book reads, ‘You should’ve known I was coming,’ and indeed, in this, too, Jerkins is prescient. With this collection, she shows us that she is unforgettably here, a writer to be reckoned with.”— Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

“At one point in the book, Jerkins lauds Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” as art that finally represents black women as entire, complex human beings. One could say the same about this gorgeous and powerful collection.”— Publishers Weekly starred review

“Morgan Jerkins is a star, a force, a blessing, a scholar and a critic, and now can add great American essayist to that list! I found myself sighing, nodding, gasping, laughing, and crying while reading this collection–but mostly cheering! We can all sleep well at night knowing this country will inherit heart, mind, and soul like this. It’s safe to say I’ve never read anyone this young–barely at quarter life!–who can understand herself, those around her, past and present, with such dignity and clarity and generosity. Intersectionality in America is dissected, investigated, celebrated and challenged all without being pedantic or preachy or pretentious. And Jerkins is the sort of benevolent intellectual you want to spend time with–who will never lie to you, but also will never let you lie to her. I’ve long known that feminism and arts and media owe so much to the excellent work of black women and This Will Be My Undoing is yet another testament to that.”— Porochista Khakpour, author of Sons & Other Flammable Objects, The Last Illusion, and Sick

Morgan Jerkins is a 25-year-old writer living in New York. She graduated from Princeton University with an AB in comparative literature, specializing in nineteenth-century Russian literature and postwar modern Japanese literature, and she has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has written for The New Yorker, Vogue, New York Times, The Atlantic, ELLE, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and BuzzFeed, among many others. She's also an Associate Editor at Catapult.

Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff

Event date: 
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062666154
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - January 30th, 2018