*FINALIST for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction*
*WINNER of the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award*
*WINNER of the 2020 Story Prize*
*WINNER of the 2020 L.A. Times Book Prize, Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction*
‘Left me wanting more. Masterfully written. Deesha Philyaw knows the craft of writing as well as she does the nuances of sex.’ - Candice Carty-Williams
An intimate, irresistible collection of stories about the hidden desires of generations of church-going Black women, due to be an HBO Max TV series.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good.
There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who nurses a crush on the preacher's wife; the mother who bakes a sublime peach cobbler every Monday for her date with the married Pastor; and Eula and Caroletta, single childhood friends who seek solace in each other's arms every New Year's Eve.
With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.
'Beautifully crafted. A lovely collection' - Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist
'mind-opening, heart-revealing, soul-shaking….triumphant.’ - Robert Jones, Jr, author of The Prophets
“Triumphant.” —Publishers Weekly
“Cheeky, insightful, and irresistible.” —Ms. Magazine
“Tender, fierce, proudly black and beautiful, these stories will sneak inside you and take root.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)