Home > Authors on Tour Jan. '10 > Announcing Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s Wench Virtual Book Tour January 2010

Announcing Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s Wench Virtual Book Tour January 2010


Join Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of the historical fiction, Wench (HarperCollins), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in January 2010 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

About Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s fiction and essays The Kenyon Review, African American Review, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, North Carolina Literary Review, Richard Wright Newsletter, and SLI: Studies in Literary Imagination. She is a 2009 finalist for the Robert Olen Butler Fiction Award. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Dolen splits her time between Seattle and Washington, DC. She is a faculty member of the University of Puget Sound where she teaches Creative Writing. Wench is her first book of fiction. You can visit Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s website at www.dolenperkinsvaldez.com, her blog at www.dolen.blogspot.com or connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dolen.

About Wench

Situated in the free state of Ohio, Tawawa House offers respite from the summer heat. A beautiful, inviting house surrounded by a dozen private cottages, the resort is favored by wealthy Southern white men who vacation there, accompanied by their enslaved mistresses.


Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (click on cover to purchase)

Regular visitors Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet have forged an enduring friendship. They look forward to their annual reunion and the opportunity it affords them to talk over the changes in their lives and their respective plantations. The subject of freedom is never spoken aloud until the red-maned, spirited Mawu arrives and voices her determination to escape. To run is to leave behind the friends and families trapped at home. For some, it also means tearing the strong emotional and psychological ties that bind them to their masters.

When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet soon learn tragic lessons, that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the cruelest circumstances as they bear witness to the end of an era.

Book Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 3:

When he was finished, he did not turn her over. She waited for him to start up again. When she heard heavy breathing, she lifted her head.

She slipped from beneath him. The breeze from the open window cooled her face.

She stood up gingerly, so as not to wake him, and went back to clean up the dishes.

Soften the white man. Hmph. Some stew. It occurred to her he had not even noticed her new hairstyle, the careful plaits that had taken Sweet the better part of an afternoon to complete.

When all of the dishes were stacked, she went out and sat on the porch. She thought of her children back at the place, already working and doing chores around the big house. It had begun with pulling weeds in the garden patch, but soon that would amount to something more. Full work days were just over the horizon for her son, the older of the two.

The sound of Drayle’s snores drifted through the window. He would sleep through the night. She observed the windows of the eleven other cottages that curved around the lake. Perhaps in those rooms, stifled with the nighttime heat, the other white men were all sleeping, too. And their slave women, all slumbering in the same dreamland.

A trio of ducks slept on the bank, their heads turned around and tucked under their wings. A nearby creek bubbled, and she let a mosquito whine in her ear until it stung her. She clapped it in her hand and studied the smear of blood in her palm.

Here’s what reviewers have to say!

“A shattering story told with dignity, compassion, and some wicked humor. Wench is a brave, honest, beautifully written book that will shock and move readers to much new awareness.”

–Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind and A Feather on the Breath of God

“This elegantly-structured novel, Dolen Perkins-Valdez presents an engrossing subject, shedding much-needed light on the racial intricacies of America’s past.”

–Margaret Cezair-Thompson, author of The Pirate’s Daughter (a #1 Indie Next Pick)

“Perkins-Valdez manages to shed a poetic light on one of the ugliest chapters in American history.”


“Drawing on research about the resort that eventually became the first black college, Wilberforce University, the novel explores the complexities of relationships in slavery and the abiding comfort of women’s friendships.”


“[A] memorable first novel . . . Readers of historical fiction centering on Southern women’s stories like Lalita Tademy’s Cane River or Lee Smith’s On Agate Hill will be moved by the skillful portrayal of Lizzie’s precarious situation and the tragic stories of her fellow slaves.” –Library Journal

“A striking debut intimately limns a Southern slave’s complicated relationship with her master. . . . Compelling and unsentimental.”

–Kirkus Reviews

“In her debut, Perkins-Valdez eloquently plunges into a dark period of American history . . . Heart-wrenching, intriguing, original and suspenseful, this novel showcases Perkins-Valdez’s ability to bring the unfortunate past to life.”
–Publishers Weekly

“A striking story of heart and mind, Wench, captures time and delivers it to us. A superb and outstanding achievement.”
–Jeffrey Lent, author of In the Fall & A Peculiar Grace

Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez establishes herself as a remarkable storyteller. Through unforgettable characters and luscious prose, the past is able to breathe and live on these pages. Perkins-Valdez establishes herself as a powerful new voice in fiction.” –Tayari Jones, author of Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling

“A finely wrought story that explores the emotional lives of four slave women caught in the web of the peculiar institution.”
–Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River (Oprah Pick) and Red River

Wench Tour Schedule

Monday, January 4
Interviewed at Blogcritics

Tuesday, January 5
Guest blogging at The Book Connection

Wednesday, January 6
Interviewed at Examiner

Thursday, January 7
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report

Friday, January 8
Book reviewed at Jen’s Bookshelf

Monday, January 11
Interviewed at Personovelty

Tuesday, January 12
Interviewed at Working Writers

Wednesday, January 13
Book reviewed at Must Read Faster

Thursday, January 14
Guest blogging at Paperback Writer

Friday, January 15
Book reviewed at Gothic Asylum Reviews

Monday, January 18
Book reviewed at Paranormal Book Lovers

Tuesday, January 19
Interviewed at Beyond the Books

Wednesday, January 20
Book reviewed at A Few More Pages

Thursday, January 21
Interviewed and book giveaway at The Writer’s Life

Friday, January 22
Book reviewed at The Bibliophile Book Blog

Monday, January 25
Interview l Chat l Book Giveaway at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, January 26
Book reviewed or guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress

Wednesday, January 27
Book reviewed or guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress

Thursday, January 28
Book reviewed at Down Under Views

Friday, January 29
Book reviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Interviewed on Kim Smith’s Introducing Writers! Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio

Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s WENCH VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ‘10 will officially begin on January 4 and end on January 29. If you would like to review this book, contact Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife@yahoo.com before Dec. 30. Thank you!

Editor’s Note: Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s tour is not taking anymore requests for blog hosts/reviewers. If you’d like to see what other books we have available for review, click on the “for reviewers” tab at the top right. Thank you!

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