Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the New York Times bestselling author of two previous novels, Wench and Balm, though Take My Hand is her first to be published in the UK. She is an Associate Professor at American University and lives in Washington, DC with her family.
"A year never passes without me thinking of them. India. Erica.
Their names are stitched inside every white coat I have ever worn.
I tell this story to stitch their names inside your clothes, too."
From this devastating (and soon-to-be classic) opening line
comes a story that's based on real-life events exploring the
horrifying link between racism and medical ethics. Also shot
through with spirit and hope, it's one hell of a book *
Stylist, The fiction books you can't miss in 2022 *
In her newest novel, Dolen Perkins-Valdez probes the many ways institutional racism and classism inflicts lasting scars, especially on young Black women - and the grace, courage, and love needed to begin to heal those wounds. Deeply empathetic yet unflinching in its gaze, Take My Hand is an unforgettable exploration of responsibility and redemption, the dangers of good intentions, and the folly of believing anyone can decide what's best for another's life * Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere *
A wonderful novel. Moving, powerful and completely absorbing - I cared deeply about all the characters and rooted for them to the last page * Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love *
Inspired by a real life case, this is the story of two sisters aged 12 and 14 who were sterilised without consent in Alabama in 1973, a case that shed light on a shocking chapter in American history * Good Housekeeping, The books we're looking forward to in 2022 *
An utterly gripping tale from start to finish, Take My Hand is storytelling at its finest. -- The top 30 books that everyone will be reading in 2022 * Glamour UK *
The magnificent Take My Hand shines a light on a hideous, historically accurate form of government-endorsed racism directed at both young Black women and the disabled, skilfully balancing the horror of people who think they know best against a Black nurse named Civil Townsend who knows better. It is Civil's determination and resilience that imbue the book with undeniable power and grace. I cheered out loud! * Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry *
A deeply moving novel about a reprehensible time, Dolen Perkins-Valdez writes with such shattering eloquence that Take My Hand is impossible to put down. I have absolutely no doubt that this is a story that will stay with me for a very long time * AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird *
Arresting, horrifying, heartbreaking and utterly immersive. It will make you want to scream at the sky * Kirsty Capes, author of Careless *
Take My Hand is a gem: one of those rare and beautiful novels that walks the balance beam of heartbreak and hope. Dolen Perkins-Valdez can breathe life into history through fiction that adds deep and profound meaning to the past - and makes its relevance to the present meaningful and clear * Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch *
Dolen Perkins-Valdez is a brilliant writer in a class all by herself. I love her voice and how she makes the past feel immediate and relevant, because it is * Terry McMillan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Waiting to Exhale *
Dolen Perkins-Valdez pens a powerfully emotional tale that calls upon the many ways Black women create sisterhoods. The strength and courage the characters exhibit will stay with readers for a long time * AARP Sisters *
Take My Hand will break your heart and lift your soul. A young nurse with big dreams of helping her community comes to an Alabama clinic and is immediately embroiled in the lives of two young Black girls, caught first in the trap of rural poverty and then in the spotlight of a national court case as their mistreatment at the clinic's hands comes out into the open. Dolen Perkins-Valdez is a consummate storyteller: profound, transcendent, heart-wrenching. * Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code *
Perkins-Valdez's latest is a piercing look into a shameful moment in America's history, and it could not be more timely. Her electrifying, masterful novel brims with fierce compassion and deserves attention and accolades galore. I will be recommending it to everyone I know * Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue *
Delicate and poetic, Dolen manages to fuse beauty and tragedy in her work, which makes her a masterful storyteller and gifted writer. In this story, Dolen speaks eloquently for those who, in being denied the right of having a choice and agency over their bodies, have lost their voice. This haunting tale, captured through the lens of an unforgettable narrator and a cast of memorable characters, will stay with you for a very, very long time * Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun *
When you know Dolan Perkins-Valdez is writing a book, you know that it is going to be a spectacular thing. And that is the case with Take My Hand. Conveyed as softly as a familial conversation, this is a work that makes difficult things endurable. Perkins-Valdez relays untold pain honestly, astutely, but most of all, gently, like a sage would. That is another way of saying that she crafts this book with great truth and wisdom. As a result, Take My Hand is the kind of rare, elevating, illuminating, useful art that we would all do well to grasp for dear life. * Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Prophets *
Moving, important, and timely, Take My Hand is both a poignant personal story and a riveting courtroom drama. By refusing to accept the status quo, big-hearted, idealistic Civil Townsend sets events in motion that eventually change hearts, minds, and lives, including her own. A perfect book-club pick. * Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of The Exiles *
This powerful novel finds the humanity in one of the most inhumane chapters of American history. Take My Hand will enrage you. It will illuminate you. It just might redeem you. In the process, it will take your breath away. I don't say this often, but it's a must-read * Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet *
Take My Hand moved me so much. It has everything I love in a novel: characters that you love spending time with, a story that moves you and sweeps you along, something to learn about, and a huge amount of heart. It's rare that a book about something so awful can leave you feeling so hopeful. It will make you want to change the world for the better - it certainly changed me * Chrissy Ryan, BookBar *