News Flash

Executive - Press Release

Posted on: April 17, 2017

Bestselling author Ayana Mathis set to headline New Castle County Reads Program on April 26

Will offer lecture on her acclaimed debut novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

New Castle, DE – On Wednesday evening, April 26 members of the public are invited to attend An Evening with Ayana Mathis, a lecture and book signing with the bestselling author that culminates the New Castle County library system’s annual reading festival NCC Reads. The event at the Chase Center on the Wilmington Riverfront starts at 7:00 pm and is free and open to all.

Last fall, Mathis’ 2013 debut novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was announced as the 2017 New Castle County Reads selection. Throughout the winter and spring more than 100 area book clubs have read this featured book and County libraries have hosted additional programs that have facilitated discussion about the book and its themes. The novel tells the story of Hattie Shepherd as she moves to Philadelphia during The Great Migration of the early 20th Century and raises her children to cope with the world in their own ways, despite the overwhelming loss and constant struggles which she faces. The Twelve tribes of Hattie was a New York Times Best Seller, a 2013 New York Times Notable Book of the Year, an NPR Best Books of 2013 and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as the second selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.

“New Castle County Reads is a valuable public service that deepens appreciation for great literature and builds connections among members of our community,” said County Executive Matthew Meyer. “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie tells the story, the story of our country, of our communities and of our county. It is the story of personal struggle and the legacy of injustice, and we are thrilled to welcome author Ayana Mathis to New Castle County for a stimulating evening of conversation about this impactful work. Please plan to join us.”

Now in its 13th year, New Castle County Reads aims to promote reading and provide opportunities for members of the community members to engage with distinguished authors. Last year’s headline lecture and book signing with author Daniel James Brown, who’s “The Boys in the Boat” featured an account of the U.S. rowing team that beat the odds to win gold at the Nazi-run 1936 Berlin Olympics, engaged nearly 100 book clubs and drew more than 1,600 attendees to the Chase Center.

Ayana Mathis is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently working on her second novel. For more information about Mathis and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie visit


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