Jacinda Townsend is the author of Saint Monkey, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. She is an Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Mother Country: A Novel (Graywolf Press) introduces us to Shannon, an African American woman who is saddled with student loans, medical debt, and the sudden news of her infertility after a car accident. She follows her boyfriend to Morocco in search of relief, and in the cobblestoned medina of Marrakech, finds a toddler in a pink jacket whose face mirrors her own. With the help of her boyfriend and a bribed official, Shannon makes the fateful decision to adopt and raise the girl in Louisville, Kentucky. But the child already has a mother – Souria, an undocumented Mauritanian woman who was trafficked as a teen and managed to escape to Morocco to build a new life. Her separation from her family across a desert and Shannon’s alienation from her mother under the same roof stage cycles of intergenerational trauma and healing. Linked by the girl who has been a daughter to them both, these unforgettable protagonists move toward their inevitable reckoning.