This week’s recommendation comes from:

Sara DeMartino smiling with the Cathedral of Learning far off in the background

Tony Petrosky 

IFL Director 

Tony says, “I just finished this collection of stories. Funny. Touching. Bold. Sad. Read it cover to cover in one sitting.”

Deesha Philyaw receives PEN/Faulkner award for “Secret Lives of Church Ladies.”

Marylynne Pitz

“Deesha Philyaw speaks in the funny, tender, undeceived voices of her title characters, who have more in common perhaps even than they know, from love to loss to God.”– Charles Finch, Bernice L. McFadden and Alexi Zentner, judges for PEN/Faulkner award

Pittsburgh-area (Wilkinsburg) author Deesha Philyaw’s “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” is a collection of short stories that garnered her the 2021 PEN/Faulkner award for fiction and The Story Prize for short story collections, the first time an author has won both for the same book. The short stories explore the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. Philyaw’s collection is being adapted for a television series on HBO Max.