About

 Kalisha Buckhanon is a writer, speaker and commentator creating stories and media about African-Americans, women, love, and justice.

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(photo: DeJohn Barnes)

“A young woman who has become a major American storyteller.” -Sapphire

“a writer of great imagination and boundless empathy.” -Jonathan Odell

Kalisha Buckhanon is a writer, speaker and commentator creating stories and media about African-Americans, women, love, and justice.

Kalisha is the author of the novels SOLEMN, CONCEPTION and UPSTATE. Her new novel, SPEAKING OF SUMMER, pulls readers into a woman's quest for answers and justice about her sister's disappearance from Harlem, speaking revelations about women’s lives in America and their arduous task of survival. It has been a book pick of Essence, O Magazine, Time, USA Today and more. Her stories and essays appear in Fiction, Fiction International, Oxford American, Black Renaissance Noire, Kweli, Winter Tangerine Review, Michigan Quarterly Review and more. She is also seen on ID Channel, BET and TV-One as an expert in true crime cases involving women. She was born in Kankakee, Illinois, and attended the College at University of Chicago, The New School M.F.A. Creative Writing Program and University of Chicago's English PhD program.

Kalisha’s remarkable 2005 debut UPSTATE introduced her in such media as People Magazine, The Guardian’s London Observer and Essence, which named her one of "Three Writers to Watch." UPSTATE's audiobook is co-narrated by Chadwick Boseman and won an Audie Award in Literary Fiction, and Terry McMillan gave Kalisha a Young Author Award specifically for the novel. Published in the UK and France, this school and library favorite is one of the first titles chosen for the National Book Foundation “Literature for Justice” program, an American Library Association ALEX Award winner, a Hurston/Wright Foundation Debut Fiction finalist, and on New York Public Library’s List of Best Books for Teens. Her second novel CONCEPTION won a 2008 Friends of American Writers Award. She is also a Pushcart Prize nominee, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship winner, Phi Beta Kappa inductee and Sisters in Crime member. She writes at her blog negression.com.

“Kalisha Buckhanon’s characters are both fearless and haunted, brave and burdened by the past.” -Jesmyn Ward

“Kalisha Buckhanon has no problem taking readers into the lives of those we often pass by.” -Essence Magazine

“…A timeless voice for a new generation.” -School Library Journal