Named one of the “most anticipated books of 2018” by The Millions, Esquire, Elle, Vogue, Nylon, Bustle, Refinery29, Huffington Post and more, THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America is Morgan Jerkins’s highly-anticipated debut collection of linked personal essays. THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING is a compelling and revelatory meditation on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, racism, and what it means to exist as a black woman today – perfect for fans of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
As one of the fiercest and most powerful critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins is a rising star in the literary world. Praised by such icons as Roxane Gay and Alexander Chee, Jerkins establishes herself in THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING as an insightful and brutally honest writer who isn’t afraid of tackling tough and controversial subjects. Not just a personal essay collection, Jerkins mines her own experience growing up black and female for moments that lead into bigger, more universal discussions about urgent issues facing black women today, such as the paradox of black female sexuality, dating men who say they “don’t see color”, and being objectified, silenced, and marginalized in ways that are rarely acknowledged in our country’s larger discussion about inequality.
“At one point in the book, Jerkins lauds Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” as art that finally represents black women as entire, complex human beings. One could say the same about this gorgeous and powerful collection.”
— Publishers Weekly starred review
Set against the backdrop of a divided nation under the Trump administration when racism and misogyny are on full public display, Jerkins masterfully tackles real issues about intersectionality, diversity, and privilege. Whether Jerkins is writing about the highly problematic Rachel Dolezal, “good hair,” being a black visitor in Russia, or her complex relationship with her own physical body, the portrait that emerges in THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING is deeply intimate yet entirely universal.
The Writer Behind the Writing
Morgan Jerkins is a 25-year-old writer living in New York. She graduated from Princeton University with an AB in comparative literature, specializing in nineteenth-century Russian literature and postwar modern Japanese literature, and she has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has written for The New Yorker, Vogue, New York Times, The Atlantic, ELLE, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and BuzzFeed, among many others. She's also an Associate Editor at Catapult.