Grubbie Debuts: Nancy Johnson with Jean Kwok, The Kindest Lie [Virtual]

Join Porter Square Books and Grubstreet along with Grubbie Nancy Johnson for the launch of her debut novel, The Kindest LieNancy will be joined in conversation by Jean Kwok (Searching for Sylvie Lee). This event is free and open to all to attend, and is hosted on Crowdcast.







Register for the event on Crowdcast here:

The Kindest Lie is a deep dive into how we define family, what it means to be a mother, what secrets we owe to those we love, and what it means to grow up Black. This beautifully crafted debut will keep you asking these questions and more.” —Jodi Picoult 

A masterful, eye-opening novel about the profound racial injustices and class inequalities roiling society in America.

A promise could betray you.

It’s 2008, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He’s eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to—and was forced to leave behind—when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she’d never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past.

Returning home, Ruth discovers the Indiana factory town of her youth is plagued by unemployment, racism, and despair. As she begins digging into the past, she unexpectedly befriends Midnight, a young white boy who is also adrift and looking for connection. Just as Ruth is about to uncover a burning secret her family desperately wants to keep hidden, a traumatic incident strains the town’s already searing racial tensions, sending Ruth and Midnight on a collision course that could upend both their lives.

Powerful and revealing, The Kindest Lie captures the heartbreaking divide between Black and white communities and offers an unflinching view of Black motherhood in contemporary America and the never-ending quest to achieve the American Dream.

A native of Chicago’s South Side, Nancy Johnson worked for more than a decade as an Emmy-nominated, award-winning television journalist at CBS and ABC affiliates in markets nationwide. A graduate of Northwestern University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she lives in downtown Chicago and manages brand communications for a large nonprofit. The Kindest Lie is her first novel. The Kindest Lie has been named one of the most anticipated books of 2021 by Marie ClaireGood HousekeepingWoman's Day, Refinery29, PopSugar, and others!

Jean Kwok is the New York Times and international bestselling author of Girl in Translation, Mambo in Chinatown, and Searching For Sylvie Lee, which was a Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club pick and an instant New York Times bestseller—now out in paperback. Her work has been published in twenty countries and is taught in universities, colleges, and high schools across the world. She has been selected for numerous honors, including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award international shortlist. She received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and earned an MFA from Columbia University. She is fluent in Chinese, Dutch, and English, and currently lives in the Netherlands. 

Register for the event on Crowdcast here:


This event is part of the Grubbie Debut series - join us for future events!

Event date: 

Monday, February 1, 2021 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

The comfort of your home!
The Kindest Lie: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063005631
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - February 2nd, 2021