Summer

In Speaking of Summer, critically acclaimed author Kalisha Buckhanon has created a postmodern, fast-paced story of urban peril and victim invisibility, and the complicated truths at the heart of every family.

PRAISE

"A riveting read from a young woman who has become a major American storyteller." —Sapphire, author PUSH adapted to the Academy Award-winning film Precious

“A powerful song about what it means to survive as a woman in America.” —Jesmyn Ward, National Book Award-winning author of Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones

“SPEAKING OF SUMMER is a literary gift.” —Bernice L. McFadden, NAACP Image Award-winning author of Book of Harlan and Praise Song for the Butterflies

"A culturally crucial literary novel that contains the raw, beating heart of a thriller.” —Jenny Milchman, Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Cover of Snow and Wicked River

“Fiercely astute.” —Tayari Jones, Women’s Prize for Fiction-winning author of An American Marriage, an Oprah’s Book Club Pick, for O Magazine >>

"SPEAKING OF SUMMER has everything.” —Abby Geni, Barnes & Noble Discover Award-winning author of The Wildlands and The Lightkeepers

 "The author’s finest work to date. This is a New York story for the ages, the country, the world.” —Colin Channer, Silver Musgrave Medal in Literature-winning author of Waiting in Vain

"A mysterious and haunting tale. ” —Connie Briscoe, New York Times-bestselling author of Sisters & Lovers

"SPEAKING OF SUMMER endures the devastation of loss and embraces the power of love." —Sandra Jackson-Opoku, author of The River Where Blood is Born and Hot Johnny (and The Women Who Loved Him)

“Thrilling.” —Entertainment Weekly >>

“Readers looking for contemporary suspense with a social justice twist will appreciate the storytelling.” —Library Journal >>

“This mysterious novel is well worth the wait.” —O: The Oprah Magazine >>

“The lives and loves left behind by the women whose names we don’t say are shown in this novel.” —Essence>>

“In her fourth novel, writer Kalisha Buckhanon sheds light on often-overlooked victims and their families.” —TIME Magazine >>

“An absolutely riveting thriller.” —Cosmopolitan >>

“As Autumn unravels, Buckhanon gradually reveals the complex mystery of this brilliant yet fragile woman.” —BBC>>

“Powerful.” —Washington Post >>

“SPEAKING OF SUMMER begins with a burst of wild energy… and culminates in a powerful story of discovery.” —Buzzfeed >>

“With absorbing prose, fast-moving plot and excellent dialogue, Buckhanon examines silence in the face of patriarchy and white supremacy, and the dynamics of family.” —The Brooklyn Rail >>

“Boldly drawn characters and a strong sense of place distinguish this sinuous, slow-burning fusion of mystery and literary fiction from acclaimed author and true-crime expert Kalisha Buckhanon (Upstate). Poetic prose and an intimate first-person narrative engage as Buckhanon uses Autumn’s search to tackle themes of race, culture, identity, gentrification, and the far-reaching effects of systemic racial injustice.” —Mystery Scene>>

“Buckhanon captures Autumn’s frustration at the undervaluing of Black women, accompanied by the creeping gentrification of her Harlem neighborhood. Not only are individual Black women disappearing, so are the communities that keep them safe." —Booklist

"Buckhanon understands the complexities of trauma.” —Kirkus Reviews

"The emotional excavation and centering of Autumn's experience is as crucial to the story as revealing the mystery." —Publishers Weekly

“Buckhanon’s literary psychothriller is a deeply felt, searching portrait of twin sisters.” —LitHub >> & Crimereads >>

This is social justice noir meets psycho-noir, with an end twist you’ll never see coming.” —LitHub >>

“Begins with a baffling mystery, the kind of childhood riddles…” —Bustle >>

“An immensely enjoyable psychological thriller, with a richly-evoked setting, lively characters, and an engrossing plot.” —BookRiot >>

“A page-turning mystery with much to say about race and family.” —Real Simple >>

“This fast-paced story is lyrical and blood boiling all at the same time. This isn’t your typical thriller, but rather a tale that goes deeper into the root of the problem: our society.” —Domino>>

“What starts off as a classic thriller set-up becomes something altogether more psychologically knotty. Kalisha Buckhanon’s fourth novel explores the most intimate family relationships, while tackling the subject of race relations and urban degradation in America today.” —The National >>

“Kalisha Buckhanon has created a narrative voice that’s authentic, emotionally charged and wise, but beneath the surface of the story lurks the unraveling of a life… Buckhanon has crafted a deeply moving psychological mystery with twists that come in unhurried moments like the small notes the sisters buried in bottles in their garden shed.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune >>

“Buckhanon has created a narrative voice that’s authentic, emotionally-charged, and often very wise, but beneath the surface of this absorbing psychological mystery is the unraveling of a life.” —Journal Sentinel >>

“A thrilling mysterious book.” —Identity Mag >>

FULL AUTHOR BLURBS

"Kalisha Buckhanon's SPEAKING OF SUMMER is a spellbinding masterpiece, a riveting read from a young woman who has become a major American storyteller." —Sapphire, author of The Kid and PUSH  adapted to the Academy Award-winning film Precious

“Kalisha Buckhanon’s characters are both fearless and haunted, brave and burdened by the past. SPEAKING OF SUMMER gives us a powerful song about what it means to survive as a woman in America.” —Jesmyn Ward, National Book Award-winning author of Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones

“Lyrical and luscious, SPEAKING OF SUMMER is a literary gift.” —Bernice L. McFadden, NAACP Image Award-winning author of Book of Harlan and Praise Song for the Butterflies

“Novels of psychological suspense often employ unreliable narrators—think Gone Girl or Shutter Island—but Buckhanon, who’s also known for her work as an on-air true crime expert, employs the device not to keep readers off-balance, but rather to evoke Autumn’s fragility and raise universal questions about mental illness, racism, and love.” —Tayari Jones, Women’s Prize for Fiction-winning author of An American Marriage, an Oprah’s Book Club Pick

"Kalisha Buckhanon's SPEAKING OF SUMMER is that rarest of books--a culturally crucial literary novel that contains the raw, beating heart of a thriller. Buckhanon juggles themes of race and ethnicity, mental health and addiction, along with sibling loyalty and rivalry. Best of all is a secret, not entirely unfurled till the end, that compels the reader to solve the mystery of Summer." — Jenny Milchman, Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Cover of Snow, As Night Falls and Wicked River

"SPEAKING OF SUMMER has everything: beauty, bite, raw truth, nail-biting urgency, and a central mystery that’s both timely and timeless." —Abby Geni, Barnes & Noble Discover Award-winning author of The Wildlands and The Lightkeepers

"Kalisha Buckhanon’s book is at once meditative and full of narrative drive. This audacious blend of mystery, family drama, intimate characterization, and sensitive exploration of the personal and social implications of loss is the author’s finest work to date. This is a New York story for the ages, the country, the world.” —Colin Channer, Silver Musgrave Medal in Literature-winning author of Passing Through and Waiting in Vain

"A mysterious and haunting tale about the powerlessness of women of color and society’s indifference toward them. But also about their indomitable will to survive.” —Connie Briscoe, New York Times-bestselling author of P.G. County and Sisters & Lovers

"Who cares about the disappearance of Summer—a beautiful, broken Black woman? No one but her twin sister, Autumn. Yet things are not always as they appear in this absorbing drama that is equal parts women’s fiction and suspense thriller. As it plumbs the fissures of the human psyche, SPEAKING OF SUMMER endures the devastation of loss and embraces the power of love." —Sandra Jackson-Opoku, author of The River Where Blood is Born and Hot Johnny (and the Women Who Loved Him)