The she lit book club will be reading Seven Days in June by Tia Williams, the best-selling romance that catapulted the longtime Black “chick lit” author to prominence, especially when celebrity book club queen Reese Witherspoon chose the book for her June 2021 selection.
The Black romance novel follows two best-selling authors who reunite on the New York literati circuit years after a high school fling left them with unforgettable scars. It’s a sophisticated romance still accompanied by a happily ever after. You can read more of our book review here. You can RSVP here.
I’ve been following Tia Williams’ work since 2010 when I was on the hunt for Black “chick lit” for my own personal literary project. Reading famous novels by Sex and the City‘s Candace Bushnell, The Devil Wears Prada‘s Lauren Weisberger, and Bergdorf Blondes’ Plum Sykes, I found myself indulging in beach reads with characters who didn’t look like me. So, I thought there had to be characters who look like me by authors who look like me.
In my search mostly across Amazon.com already becoming the main source for books at the time, I discovered several Black “chick lit” authors, including some I’m still discovering and just finding rare copies of their books in online used bookstores like ThriftBooks.com.
Tia stood out with her debut novel The Accidental Diva about beauty magazine editor Billie falling for a performance artist while suffering through migraines and struggling to accept herself with someone from a different world.
If you’ve read Seven Days in June or plan to read it with us this month, you’ll see parallels between Billie and Eva, who’s also battling activity-stopping migraines and connecting with a blast from the past from when they lived on separate sides of the track. The author has shared her real-life migraine problems on social media and in interviews, and her love interests coming to the table from a place unfamiliar to hers. She weaves these qualities into her creative Black female characters who usually happen to be magazine editors or authors like herself.
At the height of Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl fame in the mid-2000s, Tia gave us the Black version with the It Chicks series, two books following a group of girls at a prestigious performing arts school in New York City and their high-end drama. Those books were published by Hyperion’s Jump at the Sun, now Disney Books.
Her book right before Seven Days in June is 2016’s The Perfect Find, another novel surrounding 40-year-old magazine editor Jenna trying to figure out how to have a grown relationship with a photographer half her age. Years of having traditional book publishing contracts, Tia has said she had a hard time finding a publisher for The Perfect Find, which led to the book being published under Brown Girls Book, an indie imprint founded by authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray.
Now with Tia’s latest success, The Perfect Find has been republished by Grand Central Publishing, the same publisher of Seven Days in June. The Perfect Find will drop on Netflix later this year starring best-selling memoirist and book-to-TV supporter Gabrielle Union and Gina Torres.
The Accidental Diva has been newly reprinted through Penguin Random House‘s Berkley books. On the brand new pink-hued cover, it reads: New York Times Bestselling Author of Seven Days in June, A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick. Tia has made it.
And the reason we’re reading the book in March instead of June is members couldn’t wait to take this gem off their unread shelf 📚