“In exploring unexplored events involving Black American women, Perkins-Valdez gives us a fuller, richer view of our nation's history while also reminding readers that Black girls' bodies and futures have never been protected in the American experiment.” —Tina McElroy Ansa, The Washington Post
Dolen Perkins-Valdez writes about the silences in the archives, particularly those in African American history. Her most recent novel, Take My Hand, focuses on the involuntary sterilization of Black women.
Dolen is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels: Wench (2010), Balm (2015), and Take My Hand (2022). Take My Hand was named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Newsweek, San Francisco Chronicle, Essence, NBC News, and elsewhere. The novel was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award and named a Top 20 Book of the Year by the Editors at Amazon. It was awarded the 2023 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Fiction and the 2023 BCALA Award for Fiction. The audiobook version of Take My Hand was named a Best of 2022 by Audible.
The American Bar Association recently awarded Take My Hand its prestigious Silver Gavel Award which recognizes an “outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system.”
In 2011, Wench was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction, and in 2017, HarperCollins released Wench as one of eight “Olive Titles,” limited edition modern classics that included books by Edward P. Jones, Louise Erdrich, and Zora Neale Hurston. O, The Oprah Magazine chose Wench as a Top Ten Pick of the Month, and NPR named it a top 5 book club pick of 2010. Her short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere.
Dolen has established herself as a pre-eminent chronicler of American historical life. In 2013, she wrote the introduction to a special edition of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave, published by Simon & Schuster, which became a New York Times bestseller. She followed that with an introduction to Elizabeth Keckly’s Behind the Scenes, published in 2016, and the 75th anniversary of George Orwell’s 1984.
Dolen is a three-time nominee for a United States Artists Fellowship and is currently Associate Professor in the Literature Department at American University.
A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, Dolen lives in Washington, DC with her family.
For Your Next Event
To get started, enter your name and email here. An agent will get back to you shortly to discuss the details.