skin & bones

a novel

Contributors

By Renée Watson

Formats and Prices

Price

$14.99

Price

$19.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 7, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Best Book of May 2024 by New York Post. Finalist for the Westport Prize.

From the acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a soulful and lyrical novel exploring sisterhood, motherhood, faith, love, and ultimately what gets passed down from one generation to the next
 
At 40, Lena Baker is at a steady and stable moment in life—between wine nights with her two best friends and her wedding just weeks away, she’s happy in love and in friendship until a confession on her wedding day shifts her world.

Unmoored and grieving a major loss, Lena finds herself trying to teach her daughter self-love while struggling to do so herself. Lena questions everything she’s learned about dating, friendship, and motherhood, and through it all, she works tirelessly to bring the oft-forgotten Black history of Oregon to the masses, sidestepping her well-meaning co-workers that don’t understand that their good intentions are often offensive and hurtful.

Through Watson’s poetic voice, skin & bones is a stirring exploration of who society makes space for and is ultimately a story of heartbreak and healing.

  • “A beautifully poetic meditation on race, history, and parenthood. Renee Watson is brilliantly unafraid, and the reward of that fearlessness is on these pages.”
    JACQUELINE WOODSON, National Book Award winner
  • “A refreshing read, this lyrical story of love and loss is spiritually rejuvenating. Renee Watson’s writing is divine.”
    KWAME ALEXANDER, author of WHY FATHERS CRY AT NIGHT
  • “A compelling portrait of personal struggles, self-love, and the journey of healing; an indelible testament to the power of family, friendship, and community; a touching love letter to and trenchant critique of one of the whitest cities in America. It’s a dexterous and evocative gift of a novel.”
    MITCHELL S. JACKSON, author of THE RESIDUE YEARS
  • "A soulful novel that elegantly laces personal and cultural history through the eyes of a larger-than-life Black woman whose responsibilities to herself and those around her push and pull, shrink and expand. It's the kind of work that exposes matters of the heart with softness and guidance instead of melodrama and pedantry."
    MORGAN JERKINS, New York Times bestselling author of THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING
  • “Evocative, beautifully written story of friendship, self-love, and community that has captured my heart and dug into my bones.”
    LATOYA WATKINS, author of HOLLER, CHILD, longlisted for National Book Award
  • “Watson's writing shines in short chapters, some reading as poetry, as she weaves Portland's Black history into a story that contends with the legacy of trauma as well as the beauty of inheritance. An extremely engaging and lovingly written novel, with a heroine to root for—there's nothing not to like.”
    BOOKLIST
  • “Watson is adept at negotiating the complicated terrain of family, friends, and romantic partnership as they intersect with racism. As Watson weaves bits of history into the narrative, Lena sees herself in the Black people who chose to settle in the whitest city in America—a city that is white by design—and looks to them to teach her how to live in a world not made for her. Both tender and unflinching.”
    KIRKUS REVIEW
  • "Powerful story where each character shines with the divinity and humanity of Black love. An unforgettable reckoning that defies the boundaries and fears that attempt to constrict Black women's bodies and lives. Wise, real, and wondrous, Watson's genius carries our history––past, present, and future––with formidable grace and courage."
    RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS, author of PROMISE
  • “Complex, wrenching exploration of fatness, identity, and generational trauma. Lena's journey is at once a love letter to and an indictment of Portland–and America’s–past and present. Renee Watson's novel belongs here, and everywhere it chooses to go.”
    AUBREY GORDON, author of YOU JUST NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT
  • “Lyrical and poetic…For anyone intrigued by stories that highlight experiences with race, gender, self-love, family and friendship, skin & bones will resonate in more ways than one.”
    Chika Gujarathi, BOOKPAGE
  • skin & bones skillfully examines sisterhood, motherhood, faith, and love.
    LYNNETTE NICHOLAS, ESSENCE
  • “YA author Watson makes her adult debut with a heartfelt…exploration of a Black woman’s reckoning with her identity and self-image. Watson widens the story’s scope with lyrical prose: 'We are the splinter festering in the heart of this city, not easily removed.' Readers will be glad to know Watson’s defiant and loving protagonist.”
    PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
  • skin & bones is a beautiful novel and a brilliant work of art.  Renée Watson's unique style and rich prose delivers keen insight that turns ordinary women into extraordinary heroines.  And in fact, Lena, the heroine of this book wants nothing more than to be ordinary--to have ordinary happiness, to be able to shop in ordinary stores, and sit in ordinary seats.  But, having a larger body makes the "ordinary" a harrowing goal, one worth journeying for through the challenging terrain of other people's perceptions, opinions, and prejudices.  She must find a love, both for herself and shared with a partner, that is worthy of modeling for her precocious daughter Aaliyah who is learning through every bit of Lena's example, both good and bad. After reading skin & bones, I had no choice but to see the world differently and hold more compassion for myself and others.  This is a wonderful book that should be a "must-read" for all lovers of fiction, we have been delivered a treat!”
    JAYNE ALLEN, bestselling author of BLACK GIRLS MUST DIE EXHAUSTED

On Sale
May 7, 2024
Page Count
416 pages
ISBN-13
9780316570909

Renée Watson

About the Author

Renée Watson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. Over the past decade she has authored fifteen young adult books, which have collectively sold more than a million copies. She received a Coretta Scott King Award and a Newbery Honor for Piecing Me Together and high praise for 1619 Project: Born on theWater. Watson is on the Council of Writers for the National Writing Project and is a member of the Academy of American Poets’ Education Advisory Council. She is also a writer-in-residence at The Solstice Low-Residency MFA Creative Writing Program. Renée splits her time between New York City and Portland, Oregon.

Learn more about this author