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TueNight 10: Bridgett Davis

Quick Bio: Bridgett M. Davis is the author of two novels, and a new memoir, The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life In The Detroit Numbers, which is about how her mother ran an illegal lottery business from their home, giving her family a middle-class life. She’s a professor at Baruch College, CUNY, where she teaches creative writing courses and directs a writer-in-residence program. In the late 90’s, she wrote & directed a feature film, Naked Acts.

Beyond the Bio: “I’m in full pre-book tour mode right now — thinking a lot about packing! Excited to connect with readers on the road. Life in my 40s was certainly full and amazing — rearing young children will do that for you. But life now, in my 50s, feels like coming into my own. I’ve hit a sweet spot. I finally feel confident about myself as a writer, and that’s freed me to allow my creativity to flourish in other ways. In fact, most people don’t know this about me, but I create collage art. My writing is very collage-like too, so it works for me. The best thing I can say about this decade is that I’m all about being kind and forgiving to myself. I forgive myself in an instant now. So simple, and so radical for most women.”

1. On the nightstand: N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season; Imani Perry’s Looking For Lorraine, Michelle Obama’s Becoming (of course), and Kathryn Harrison’s On Sunset.

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop:  Sharing my mom’s incredible story: Now that I’ve finally revealed her secret, I can’t shut up about it — because a black woman bucking the system and winning is badass female empowerment at its finest. As Michelle Obama said about leaning in, “Sometimes that shit doesn’t work.”

3. Jam of the minute: I’ve created a Spotify playlist for my book, which is set in the ’60s and ’70s, so I’m awash these days in the great music of that era. And I grew up in Motown, so…On repeat right now are both Aretha Franklin’s “Think” (which reminds me of my mom) and Minnie Ripperton’s “Loving You.”

4. Thing I miss: Going to the local video store on 7th Avenue in Park Slope on Fridays after picking up my son at elementary school, so he could choose his weekend videos. I liked chatting with the smart young guy who worked there, giving my son a quarter for the bubble gum machine, running into friends from the neighborhood. My daughter, only four years younger, knows nothing of this ritual. Streaming is just not a communal thing.

5. 80s crush: Prince and Michael Jackson (Yes, those obsessions could co-exist)

6. Current crush: Regina King, for using her moment at the Golden Globes to challenge all industries to make their productions 50 % women. My new shero! I so want her to play my mom in the film or TV version of my book (hello, Hollywood?).

7. Will whine about: The subway — I live in Bed-Stuy, so my commute is longer and more annoying than in the past; and the trains really do suck more than ever.

8. Will wine about: The fact that it’s dinner time, usually. Lately, it’s the chance to actually hold the finished copy of my new book — it’s been a long, long process to get to this point and I was beginning to wonder…

9. Best thing that happened recently: My nerdy dream come true: I landed on the cover of a major literary publication!

10. Looking forward to: My hometown book launch in Detroit. Friends from elementary, junior high and high school tell me they’re coming!

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