Gayle Pemberton


The Hottest Water in Chicago: Notes of a Native Daughter
In sixteen provocative autobiographical essays, Gayle Pemberton shares the accumulated revelations of a lifetime of observation, interweaving her own history with that of her family. With a wisdom and sharp wit uniquely her own she reflects on race, American literature, art, music and film. “A profoundly serious book” – Toni Morrison

“Hello, Stranger”
“Hello, Stranger” is one of 20 essays in Skin Deep: Black Women & White Women Write About Race, ed. Marita Golden and Susan Richards Shreve.

“Do He Have Your Number, Mr. Jeffrey?”
This essay is the most anthologized from The Hottest Water in Chicago, and is included in The Art of the Personal Essay, ed. Philip Lopate, and Hiding in Plain Sight, ed. Wendy Lesser.

Selected Works

“Luminous social history, at once familiar and transcendent”
Publishers Weekly
Casual encounters between black and white women reveal deep and vexing cultural issues.
Down and out in Los Angeles, Pemberton reflects on family memories, and the only black character in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

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