“The opening pages of Ayana’s debut took my breath away. I can’t remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison.” —OPRAH WINFREYIn 1923, seventeen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia for Philadelphia, where, though her first two babies die because she can’t afford medicine, she keeps nine children alive with collard greens, old southern remedies and sheer love. Saddled with a husband who will bring her nothing but disappointment, she prepares her children for a world she knows will not be kind to them. Their trials are the trials upon which the history of America was forged, a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit, and a force stronger than love or trouble, the determination to get by and get through. A searing portrait of an unforgettable family, an emotionally transfixing drama of human striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, and a ferocious vision of humanity at its most threadbare and elemental, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie introduces a writer of the very first order.