Home New Dominion Bookshop cancels Taylor Harris book reading

New Dominion Bookshop cancels Taylor Harris book reading

Taylor Harris
Taylor Harris. Photo courtesy New Dominion Bookshop.

New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville has had to cancel a book reading and signing with author Taylor Harris that had been scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21, from 7-8 p.m.

Harris was to read from her debut memoir, This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown, which will be released from Catapult in early January.

For more information, visit ndbookshop.com.

This Boy We Made begins the morning that Tophs, Harris’s round-cheeked, lively 22-month-old, wakes up listless, only lifting his head to gulp down water. She rushes Tophs to the doctor, ignoring the part of herself, trained by years of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder, that tries to whisper that she’s overreacting.

But at the hospital, her maternal instincts are confirmed: something is wrong with her boy, and Taylor’s life will never be the same.

With every question the doctors answer about Tophs’s increasingly troubling symptoms, more arise, and Taylor dives into the search for a diagnosis. She spends countless hours trying to navigate health and education systems that can be hostile to Black mothers and children; at night she googles, prays, and interrogates her every action.

Some days, her sweet, charismatic boy seems just fine; others, he struggles to answer simple questions. A long-awaited appointment with a geneticist ultimately reveals nothing about what’s causing Tophs’s drops in blood sugar, his processing delays—but it does reveal something unexpected about Taylor’s own health.

What if her son’s challenges have saved her life?

This Boy We Made is a stirring and radiantly written examination of the bond between mother and child, full of hard-won insights about fighting for and finding meaning when nothing goes as expected.

Harris is a writer, wife, and mom of three who lives in Charlottesville. Her work has appeared in TIME, O Quarterly, The Washington Post, Longreads, The Cut, Romper, Parents, McSweeney’s, and other publications.

Johnson is the author of the critically acclaimed book My Monticello. A fellow of Tin House, Hedgebrook, and VCCA, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson has published her writing in Guernica, The Guardian, Kweli Journal, and elsewhere. Her short story “Control Negro” was anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, edited by Roxane Gay, and was read live by LeVar Burton as part of PRI’s Selected Shorts series. A veteran public school art teacher, Johnson lives and writes in Charlottesville.



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