Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill is thrilled to partner with like-minded Bookclubs for our Hear Our Voices Book Club. Each month, we will feature one of these powerful paperbacks, strong stories from and about underrepresented voices. From beloved and bestselling authors like Julía Alvarez, Tayari Jones, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and undeniable debut talents like Jaquira Díaz, Lisa Ko, and Mesha Maren, these stunning books will make you think, feel, and talk talk talk in your book club discussions!

QuoteWe need women’s voices now, in these times, more than ever.

—TAYARI JONES, winner of the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction

The Mountains Sing

by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s #ownvoices novel, The Mountains Sing, shares a multigenerational story—showing us the human costs of conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people, along with the true power of kindness and hope.


by Julia Alvarez

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?


by Jill McCorkle

"Hieroglyphics is a novel that tugs at the deepest places of the human soul--a beautiful, heart-piercing meditation on life and death and the marks we leave on this world. It is the work of a wonderful writer at her finest and most profound."

Miracle Country: A Memoir

by Kendra Atleework

In this impressive debut memoir, through prose reminiscent of Annie Dillard and Rebecca Solnit, Kendra Atleework weaves the history of the land where she grew up (the Eastern Sierra mountains) into her family's moving story, along with galvanizing writing about climate change and a universal message about the meaning of home. The latest winner of the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, Miracle Country is perfect for fans of literary memoir and nature writing alike.

The Temple House Vanishing

by Rachel Donohue

One day a teacher and one of his students go missing from an all-girls Catholic boarding school in Ireland. The unsolved mystery captivates the country, and a reporter delves into the past to find the truth. What
she finds are stories of jealousy and revenge, power and class in this Irish bestselling debut novel.

Why We Swim

by Bonnie Tsui

With her smart, endearing voice, lifelong swimmer and award-wining author Bonnie Tsui dives into our connection to water and to other people who are drawn to it, both its dangers and its buoyancy. This immersive, unforgettable perspective on swimming is the perfect read for an Olympic year!

An American Marriage (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

by Tayari Jones

Roy and Celestial are newlyweds when Roy is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and given a lengthy prison sentence. As Celestial faces a life alone and Roy faces a life in prison, they discover the power of love, and its limits.

Silver Sparrow

by Tayari Jones

With the novel’s opening line, "My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist," author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man's deception, a family's complicity, and the two teenage girls caught in the middle.

Purple Hibiscus: A Novel

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The debut novel from international bestselling literary star Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores the emotional turmoil of adolescence and the bright promise of freedom for two teenagers in Nigeria.

Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics

by Heather Lende

Go on an Alaskan adventure in small-town politics. Bestselling author Heather Lende decided to run for office—and won! What came next in this true story will both inspire and surprise you.

Big Girl, Small Town

by Michelle Gallen

Growing up in Northern Ireland just after the Troubles, Majella lives a quiet life caring for her alcoholic mother and working in the local chip shop, but when her predictable existence is upended, she realizes there might just be whole big world outside her small town

Creatures: A Novel

by Crissy Van Meter

This “unwavering triumph” (The New York Times Book Review) about fragile family bonds introduces us to Evangeline on her wedding weekend, as a dead whale is trapped in the Winter Island harbor, the groom might be lost at sea, and her absent mother has shown up out of the blue.

Sugar Run: A Novel

by Mesha Maren

In this debut novel, Jodi McCarty, newly free after eighteen years in prison, meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother. Together, they struggle for a fresh start within the insularity of rural West Virginia.

The Leavers (National Book Award Finalist): A Novel

by Lisa Ko

Set in New York and China, this powerful debut is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging: how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past.

In the Time of the Butterflies

by Julia Alvarez

Las Mariposas, the butterflies, four sisters who led the opposition to Gen. Rafael Leónidas Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from secret crushes to gunrunning, in this seminal novel.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

by Julia Alvarez

After the García sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—and their parents flee the Dominican Republic, they try to find new lives in the wondrous but not always welcoming U.S.A., and their parents try to hold on to their old way.

Yo!: A Novel

by Julia Alvarez

Yolanda García—Yo, for short (and yes, this is Yolanda García of those García Girls!) —has published her first novel with “characters” ever-so-similar to her own relatives. But turnabout is fair play, and so here in this novel, the family and friends tell the truth about Yo.

Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights

by Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Meet Dovey Johnson Roundtree—the groundbreaking civil rights attorney, soldier, and minister—the unforgettable trailblazer we should all know more about, a woman who “proved . . . a single individual can turn the tides of history.” —Michelle Obama

Ordinary Girls: A Memoir

by Jaquira Díaz

A memoir for this moment: Jaquira Díaz’s ORDINARY GIRLS will open your mind and heart with her triumphant story of overcoming adversity, both personal and systemic.

His Only Wife

by Peace Adzo Medie

When Afi agrees to an arranged marriage with a wealthy man she has never met, she thinks she understands the rules she must play by in her home of Ghana. But she just might break them all in this must-read, captivating tale that questions issues of independence and identity. A Reese’s Book Club pick.

A House Is a Body: Stories

by Shruti Swamy

A finalist for a PEN award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, this collection provides insight into small but intense moments of beauty, pain, and power in twelve riveting short stories set in the United States and India.


by Heidi Pitlor

Allie Lang, a professional ghostwriter, has finally caught a break, or so it seems, when she’s hired to write a book with a rising political star. But first Allie must confront her own her passivism and her concerns about motherhood and personal ambition in this witty novel.

With or Without You: A Novel

by Caroline Leavitt

Stella falls into a coma, forcing her a musician boyfriend, who has always taken center stage, and her best friend, who is her doctor, to make difficult choices. When Stella wakes up two months later, she has a new artistic talent, a chance to form a new life, and questions about what we owe the people in our lives.

The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

by Jennifer Steinhauer

A riveting inside look at the women behind the headlines.

A People's History of Heaven

by Mathangi Subramanian

Young women and girls—including a graffiti artist, a transgender Christian, a blind dancer, and the queer daughter of a hijabi union leader—come together to wage war on the bulldozers that would bury their homes in a Bangalore, India, slum called Heaven.

The Optimistic Decade

by Heather Abel

Framed by the 1980s’ oil shale bust, the real estate boom and protests against Reagan and the Gulf War, five unforgettable characters explore the bloom and fade of idealism in the American West.

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

by Felicity McLean

In the hot Australian summer of 1992, the three young Van Apfel sisters mysteriously disappeared. Now years later, still haunted by her friends’ unsolved disappearance, Tikka Malloy returns home to try to make sense of that strange time.

Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods

by Amelia Pang

In this investigative expose, author Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on the human cost behind the cheap consumer goods we purchase.

Amelia Pang

Jennifer Steinhauer

Kendra Atleework

Julia Alvarez