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TueNight 10: Dionne Ford

Age: 49

Quick bio: Co-editor of the anthology Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation (Rutgers University Press, May 2019) and author of the memoir Finding Josephine, forthcoming from Putnam. Her writing has won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, the Newswomen’s Club of New York, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She’s also a regular TueNight contributor

Beyond the bio: “I wanted to write my own invented stories since my parents gave me a drugstore journal with a lock and key when I was seven, but it seemed impractical and indulgent to study storytelling. My parents worked hard to move up the economic ladder to middle class-dom, so I studied slightly more practical journalism instead. It wasn’t until my late 30s that I started to find my personal writing voice. Time can kill a lot of things but not a deep desire. When my daughters started middle and high school in 2014, I went back to school too for my MFA in Creative Writing. I was 47 when I graduated in 2016. My first book, the anthology, will be published a few days after my 50th birthday.”

1. On the nightstandWell-Read Black Girl an anthology by Glory Edim, The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody and The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois.

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Dancing in my kitchen like it’s the Limelight.

3. Jam of the minute: “I Like It” by DeBarge. My younger daughter recently discovered this 80s favorite and we have fun trying to hit the high note together.

4. Thing I miss: My grandmother Louise who died in January at age 101 and playing the drums.

5. 80s crush: John Taylor of Duran Duran

6. Current crush: Idris Elba

7. Will whine about: My teenagers, my taxes, the current administration.

8. Will wine about: I haven’t had any alcohol since 1991 so, I don’t “wine” over things, but I sure will eat some carbs and candy.

9. Best thing that happened recently: To celebrate the completion of the anthology I’m co-editing, my husband made surf and turf and my daughter made a pecan pie, all served on Christmas china with candlelight.

10. Looking forward to: The anthology’s launch in May, finishing my memoir and having my older daughter home from college for winter break.

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