A National Book Award Winner
One of the Ten Best Books of the Year: Washington Post, Slate, Vulture, and Publishers Weekly
One of the Best Books of the Year: New York Times, NPR, Time, Boston Globe, Smithsonian Magazine, Book Riot, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews
In 1850s South Carolina, an enslaved woman named Rose faced the imminent sale of her daughter Ashley. Thinking quickly, she packed a bag with a few precious items to try to ensure Ashley's survival. Decades later, Ashley's granddaughter Ruth embroidered this family history on the bag in haunting language - including Rose's wish that "It be filled with my Love always." Ruth's sewn words evoke a family story passed down through generations. Tiya Miles metaphorically unpacks the bag, deepening its emotional resonance and exploring the significance of everything it contained.