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Staff Picks (Linda)

Posted on: August 21, 2020

Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson

Brother Robert by Annye C. Anderson - An intimate memoir by blues legend Robert Johnson’s stepsister

by Annye C. Anderson with Preston Lauterbach; foreword by Elijah Wald

We are excited to offer this new weekly feature and to share a wide array of books about Black lives in America. It seems appropriate to begin with a new book by a well-known Amherst resident, Mrs. Annye Anderson, who has written a fascinating memoir about her stepbrother, the blues legend Robert Johnson. The book brings “Brother Robert” to life with details no other work has, and shows that he was close to his loving family, who grieved for years after his tragic early death. She also tells how the family lost Robert Johnson again as white exploiters took advantage of family members by taking their photographs and stories to turn him into a hot commodity. The author’s words make the people and music and food of her Memphis childhood vividly alive to the reader. Blues lovers won’t want to miss this, but anyone interested in history will be moved by this vibrant book.

Don’t miss our interview with the author! Or this great story about Mrs. Anderson and her book (December 1, 2020) by Ben James of New England Public Media.

See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages

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