“In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored.”

From these fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham.

Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.”

By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.

NONFICTION: Biography, Autobiography, & Memoir | The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham (Milkweed, 9781571313157) | BUY FROM AN INDIE

The first biography of arguably the most influential member of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration, Marguerite "Missy" LeHand, FDR's de facto chief of staff, who has been misrepresented, mischaracterized, and overlooked throughout history...until now.

Widely considered the first female presidential chief of staff, Marguerite "Missy" LeHand was the right-hand woman to Franklin Delano Roosevelt--both personally and professionally--for more than twenty years. Although her official title as personal secretary was relatively humble, her power and influence were unparalleled. Everyone in the White House knew one truth: If you wanted access to Franklin, you had to get through Missy. She was one of his most trusted advisors, affording her a unique perspective on the president that no one else could claim, and she was deeply admired and respected by Eleanor and the Roosevelt children.

With unprecedented access to Missy's family and original source materials, journalist Kathryn Smith tells the captivating and forgotten story of the intelligent, loyal, and clever woman who had a front-row seat to history in the making. The Gatekeeper is a thoughtful, revealing unsung-hero story about a woman ahead of her time, the true weight of her responsibility, and the tumultuous era in which she lived--and a long overdue tribute to one of the most important female figures in American history.

NONFICTION: Biography, Autobiography, & Memoir | The Gatekeeper: Missy Lehand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency by Kathryn Smith (Touchstone, 9781501114960) | BUY FROM AN INDIE