BkMk Press Books

We Are Taking Only What We Need


by Stephanie Powell Watts

Price: $16.95, 221 pages

ISBN: 9781886157798, 2011


New edition available from HarperCollins.


Winner, Ernest J. Gaines Award

Finalist, Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award

Finalist, Chautauqua Prize

Finalist, John Gardner Fiction Prize

Finalist, ForeWord Book of the Year, stories

Finalist, USABookNews.com Best Books, stories

Recommended, New Yorker best books of the year O Magazine


Fiction. African American Studies. African American women protagonists lose and find love, confront sanity and craziness, and strive to make sense of their lives in North Carolina. A Jehovah's Witness girl goes door-to-door with an expert field-service partner from up north. At a call center, operator Sheila fields a caller's uncomfortable questions under a ruthless supervisor's eye. Forty-something Aunt Ginny surprises the family by finding a husband, but soon she gives them more to talk about. Pulitzer-Prize winner Edward P. Jones writes "Watts offers an impressive debut that promises only wonderful work to come." Fiction writer Marly Swick agrees: "Each story seems, at the same time, to be a breath of fresh air and an instant classic." Author Alyce Miller notes that "Watts writes with a penetrating eye for the extraordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. As I read, I found myself holding my breath."


About the Author

Stephanie Powell Watts teaches at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. "Unassigned Territory" from this collection received the Pushcart Prize and a citation from Best American Short Stories. Two stories from the book appeared in Best New Stories from the South anthologies. Watts's work has appeared in Oxford American, New Letters, African American Review, and elsewhere. A former Jehovah's Witness minister born and raised in Lenoir, North Carolina, she holds the PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has received the Southern Women Writers Conference's emerging writer of the year award in fiction.


Read more about Stephanie Powell Watts at: John F. Kennedy Library/News Release;PEN New England;

Charlotte Observer (The Reading Life)

Asheville's Citizen-Times

News-Observer (Raleigh)

Columbia Tribune article on Stephanie Powell Watts;;

St. Louis community radio KDHX program Literature for the Halibut on June 11;;

UMKC's Public Radio Station(KCUR;;

KC Star's Announcement: Stephanie Powell Watts' Book Reading

Interview with Stephanie Powell Watts


Published 2011

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