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Francesca T. Royster Discussion & Book Signing

September 23, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Join author Francesca T. Royster at the Urbana Free Library for a discussion and book signing on her memoir “Choosing Family: a Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance” as part of Pygmalion 2023.

There are times in your life when you make choices that change everything: choosing a new job, finding a partner, adopting or having a child. For author Francesca T. Royster, one of those big changes was choosing to adopt a child with her partner later in life. Her nuanced memoir thoughtfully discusses how this decision affected her notions of family, adoption, queerness, race, and how these topics also intersected in her life. Her memoir will make you think deeply about your own major life events.

Francesca T. Royster is a Professor of English at DePaul University in Chicago, and received her PhD from University of California, Berkeley in English literature. She’s written scholarly work on Shakespeare, Black lesbian country-music fans, Prince, and Fela Kuti on Broadway, among other topics. She is the author of the books Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions (2022), Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance (2023), Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era (2013), and Becoming Cleopatra: The Shifting Image of an Icon (2003), as well as numerous scholarly and creative essays.

Reviews on Choosing Family:

“Affecting . . . Insightful and reflective, this is a moving tribute to the power of chosen family.” [Publisher’s Weekly]

“Memorable and fluid, professor Francesca T. Royster’s memoir Choosing Family blends her family’s history with her story of adopting an infant girl, juxtaposing personal life with political life and allowing each to illuminate the other. . . . In the lyrical memoir, the personal and political unite in a queer, interracial couple’s celebration of choosing to adopt an infant.” [Foreword Reviews]

“The book builds on an intergenerational lineage of powerful women whose strength Royster brings to her own mothering. . . . A potent love letter to community in all its forms.” [Kirkus Reviews]

Books will be available to purchase at the reading.

This event is generously funded by The Urbana Free Library Foundation.

The Library is committed to making programs accessible for all. If you need an accommodation to attend a program, please let the Library know at least two weeks in advance. To request an accommodation, contact the Programming and Outreach Manager via email at programming@urbanafree.org or via phone at 217-367-4057.


September 23, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Urbana Free Library
201 W. Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801
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