Ayana Mathis' Debut Novel Selected to Oprah's Book Club 2.0

BROOKLYN, NY – December 10, 2012 - The Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College is proud to announce that new faculty member Ayana Mathis recently had her debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, chosen as the latest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection.

“The Writer’s Foundry is delighted to have Ayana Mathis as part of its inaugural faculty, a roster that includes the incomparable Sapphire, Justin Torres, Chris Adrian and Jackson Taylor,“ said Richard Greenwald, Ph.D., dean and professor at St. Joseph’s College. “When the Foundry welcomes its inaugural class in the fall, we look forward to having Ms. Mathis bring her unique talents to teach a writing workshop, one of the core classes at the Writer’s Foundry M.F.A. at St. Joseph’s College.”

Cited by Publishers’ Weekly as “a remarkable debut,” and described by the New York Times as a “haunting — and, yes, hopeful — glimpse of the possibility of redemption and the resilience of the human spirit.” The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is Ms. Mathis’s first novel. Ms. Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship.

“Ayana came to class with the skills of the magazine world firmly mastered; she had incredible aptitude for the work of writing, was never late, and always prepared – the signs of a champion,” said Jackson Taylor, her former instructor. “She was already well formed, but most incredibly was how she blossomed in a forum where her poetic gifts could be explored and exploded.”

For more information about The Writer’s Foundry M.F.A. at St. Joseph’s College, please call 718.940.5900. To read more about what the New York Times had to say about Ms. Mathis and her debut novel, click here.


The Writer's Foundry at St. Joseph's College stands in Clinton Hill on the border of Fort Greene, two of the most vibrant and deep-grounded neighborhoods in all of New York City. We seek to attract writers who dedicate themselves to excellence in all areas of literary life. As writers, we do not wish to imprint an unyielding or particular aesthetic onto each other, but rather aim to encourage and develop that which is individual. Students are regarded as working artists, intent upon practicing the promise of their craft. Our basic assumption is that all acts of writing are creative, a product of imagination and thought.

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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