Oct 4, 2021 • 50M

When A Black Woman And A White Woman Co-Write A Novel About Race

Christine Pride and Jo Piazza join the Rich Text Book Club to discuss their new novel, 'We Are Not Like Them.'

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In Christine Pride and Jo Piazza’s new novel, We Are Not Like Them (out tomorrow at your finest book purveyors), lifelong friends Riley and Jen find their bond being tested in the most profound way possible. Riley, a Black TV news reporter recently returned to her hometown of Philadelphia, is assigned to cover a shocking police shooting of an unarmed teenage boy, Justin. Her childhood bestie Jen, a white woman who is late in her longed-for pregnancy, is also caught up in the case — because her husband, Kevin, was one of the two cops who shot the boy.

As Riley is drawn into covering the case, wrecked emotionally by yet another episode of anti-Black police brutality and developing a personal relationship with Justin’s grieving mother and uncle, she also must contend with Jen’s resentment that her best friend isn’t supportive of her husband, as he faces an investigation and public wrath. Both Riley and Jen ultimately have to face the reality of how race plays a role in both their lives, and in their friendship, after years of avoiding tough conversations about racism.

Pride and Piazza drew on their own perspectives as a Black woman and a white woman, as well as their own friendship, to tell Riley and Jen’s story in We Are Not Like Them. In our conversation, the four of us discussed the agony and ecstasy of creative partnership, the importance of Google Docs, how to build three-dimensional characters, storytelling for a cause, and all the tripwires that make interracial conversations about race so difficult (especially if you’re talking to your white friends!).

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