Porter Square Books welcomes KAITLYN GREENIDGE for a discussion of her acclaimed novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman.
The Freeman family–Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, teenage Charlotte and nine-year-old Callie–have been invited to the Toneybee Institute in rural Massachusetts to participate in a research experiment. They will live in an apartment on campus with Charlie, a young chimp abandoned by his mother. The Freemans were selected for the experiment because they know sign language; they are supposed to teach it to Charlie and welcome him as a member of their family.
Isolated in their new, nearly all-white community not just by their race but by their strange living situation, the Freemans come undone. And when Charlotte discovers the truth about the Institute’s history of questionable studies, the secrets of the past begin to invade the present.
The power of this novel resides in Greenidge’s undeniable storytelling talents. What appears to be a story of mothers and daughters becomes a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.