About The Navi Review & Navidad Thelamour

The Navi Review is a no holds barred, authentic and candid look at the novels, short story collections and non-fiction works out today. If you’re deciding whether or not a book is worth the money–or the time–turn here to get the honest scoop on it before plunging into your wallet on an unsure bet!

She has a B.A. in English, Creative Writing from Georgia State University and M.A. in Publishing from Kingston University, London. She’s worked within the walls of publishing greats such as Random House, Little, Brown and Hachette, as well as at phenomenal non-fiction houses such as Zed Books. She is a former literary agent, one-time Managing Editor of Southern Fried Karma Press, novelist and short story writer.

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There was a larger world out there, wasn’t there? She remembered it, she was sure. A world that she’d once navigated with poise and anticipation, with optimism and buoyancy. But, it was out there, and she was in here.

It was out there, and she was in here.

A timely and powerful novel about what it means to navigate hidden status lines in black America and what it means to step over them. At once a family saga, a glimpse behind the veil of a broken marriage, and a quest for the new-age American Dream, THE OTHER AMERICANS explores the treacherous fault lines of American culture.

The Dessommes family has had their share of troubles — as rival siblings Vince and Jillian can attest — but as Vince prepares to step into his birthright as CEO of the family’s holdings, the repercussions of this looming shift in power and a cascade of events bring together a diverse cast of characters: Vince’s wife Delaney, a would-be social worker who unwittingly gave up her chance at a career for a ritzy marriage she never really wanted; her best friend, Aaliyah, who still believes in the American Dream, even though her trials with corporate climbing make it more and more difficult to put faith in; Micah, a social and corporate climber who has everything Aaliyah is trying to attain but still reaches for more – possibly to their detriment; Nigel, a former classmate of Vince who’s confounded by the extravagant world Vince travels in and tries to resist the unrelenting pull it has on his life; Paige, the prodigal daughter of a Dessommes family friend whose reputation precedes her; and Jillian, the abdicated social princess of their circle who has a little problem with razor blades and haunting memories from her past that never seem to go away. As the characters – deeply divided by skin color and class lines – collide, often unbeknownst to each of them, their lives weave together and touch each other poignantly.

Set in the American South and with chapter titles inspired by popular Southern sayings, The Other Americans is an ode to a culture and an exploration of “the other Americans,” the little-known subculture of elitist African Americans whose high society and centuries-old social prejudices are rarely explored. Walking the lines of cultural fissures and boundaries, The Other Americans is a family saga of this lineage’s unspoken past and the way that sisterhood can pull us back from the brink of self-destruction…or push us to it.

Cutting deep into the fabric of family ties and the scars of their upbringings, the Dessommes family is forced to confront its secrets as they learn what happens when class lines clash inside of a crucible of decades-old allegiances and social prejudices — and of how far we’ll go to harm ourselves…and others. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is significant.  

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Upcoming Projects:

She is currently completing a short story collection that goes by the following description:

A collection of enigmatic and intriguing creative narratives that delves into the female psyche in her quest for sensuality, absolution, revenge and fulfillment. A new literary aesthetic, these are the anti-fairy tale stories for the totally modern woman and the modern age, a veritable celebration of life and what it truly means to be a woman…

Drop her a line or question anytime; start a raucous debate or add your input in a comment; no holds barred! Want Navidad to review your next book, edit your manuscript for publication, or to partner with your literary journal, publishing house, or review site on review projects and author interviews? Looking to be a guest writer for a post here at The Navi Review or for Navi to write a post on your blog? Email her at navidad.thelamour@gmail.com. And don’t forget to follow the blog:

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Favorites:
short stories, Southern Gothic fiction, African American fiction, great character pieces and mind benders of any sort–any genre, Millennial lens reads, non-fiction that uncovers new, poignant truths & debunks myths

 

Navidad’s Review Aesthetic:

The key to my heart is a REALLY good character piece! A novel that peels back the layers of humanity for true examination, even if I have to bring out my tissues! My favs explore every ism you can think of, and if there are Gothic elements (not commercial horror, fantasy, paranormal — true GOTHIC) I’ll be in love for sure. My life changing reads have been A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Recitatif by Toni Morrison and for contemporary shorts: The Paperhanger by William Gay, A House on the Plains by E.L. Doctorow. Full-length reads A Little Life, Everything I Never Told You, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Gone with the Wind, The Emperor of Ocean Park, New England White.
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Star System:

1 star – Could barely finish, Never, Ever Again shelf
2 star – Meh, Could have done without this read
3 star – Average
4 star – Really Liked
5 star – In LOVE with this one!

Then there’s the coveted, Oh, Where’ve You Been All My Life shelf — life-changing (or at least mentality-changing) reads!

 

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