Product Details

$27.99  $26.03
Atria Books
Publish Date
6.38 X 9.27 X 1.28 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Helen Elaine Lee grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and she is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She is the author of three novels: The Serpent's Gift, Water Marked, and Pomegranate. Helen was on the board of PEN New England for ten years, and she served on its Freedom to Write Committee, along with founding and volunteering with its Prison Creative Writing Program. She is a professor of comparative media studies/writing at MIT.


"With a light, poetic touch, Lee balances the painful details of Ranita's reality with genuine, persistent hope for new beginnings. It's irresistible."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Pomegranate feels like something new: a humane, closely observed account of a Black woman--a recovering addict, a mother who's lost custody of her children--emerging from prison, working to stay clean, reconnect with her family, and come to terms with her complicated past. This moving and panoramic novel starts off as a character study and evolves into a big-hearted story of redemption."--Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Tracy Flick Can't Win and Mrs. Fletcher
"Pomegranate is a fierce and extraordinarily moving epic about coming home. Helen Lee has blessed us with the great American novel about people America tosses away. Her searing words lift up the lives of women - daughters, mothers, and lovers - you think you know but you have no idea. The achievement of a lifetime from a brilliant storyteller, this soulful novel is a balm, a truth telling, and a damn good read. Somewhere Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Audre Lorde are slurping fat juicy pomegranates and they are rejoicing."--Paul Butler, MSNBC Legal Analyst, author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men
"Helen Elaine Lee is a writer of great humanity, wisdom, delicacy and heart. Pomegranate is a moving portrait of a woman living with her mistakes and determined to do better. Ranita's journey out of addiction and incarceration and early trauma, her daily struggle to live a life as large as her spirit, is a remarkable feat of literary conjuration. This is what novels are for."--Jennifer Haigh, nationally bestselling author of Mercy Street
"Both lush and probing, this book is evidence, yet again, of Lee's stunning gift to hold history and beauty in her hands simultaneously."--Robin Coste Lewis, National Book Award-winning author of Voyage of the Sable Venus
"Helen Elaine Lee is working at the height of her powers. With empathy, insight, and hope, Pomegranate reveals the hidden heartbreak of the women touched by incarceration. Prepare to be challenged and changed."--Tayari Jones, New York Times bestselling author of An American Marriage
"Helen Elaine Lee has brought such a deep and beautiful world of people to the page, I found myself already missing them even as I continued to read. In their survival, we find ours and are left grateful, different, better."--Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Red at the Bone
"Like the pomegranate of the title...filled with unexpected treasures. Lee has created a powerful, beautifully written story of a woman who painfully confronts her past to build her future."--Booklist (starred review)
"Lee's handling of trauma is deft, and her portrayal of the carceral system's cruelty is unflinching and empathetic...a cache of jewels."--Kirkus Reviews
"Lee writes beautifully about the healing power of Black kin networks, queer love, community support systems, and literature."--Buzzfeed News