Glory Edim is the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, an organization that began on Instagram and later expanded into the Well-Read Black Girl literary festival. In 2017, she received the Innovator’s Award at the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, and in 2018, she published her first anthology. Edim’s latest, On Girlhood (Liveright/Norton, October 26), investigates coming of age as a Black girl over the decades, examining themes of innocence, belonging, love, and self-discovery through short stories by Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others.

In this interview, Edim touches on the aspects of craft and lyricism that drew her to each of these authors and shares her favorites method for discovering new writers. She explains the puzzlelike process of arranging these stories, both by theme and by age, as they range from young girlhood to later adolescence. Next on the docket for the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club? More anthologies are in the works, says Edim, and keep an eye out for a virtual fifth-anniversary celebration of the Well-Read Black Girl Festival from October 26-30.

From the Kirkus review: “Collecting the stories of literary giants—Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston—and contemporary authors including Camille Acker and Amina Gautier, the book presents an expansive, decades-spanning view of Black girlhood.…Organized around the themes of innocence, belonging, love, and self-discovery, the collection is genuinely riveting; the stories narrate the lives of indelible characters with humor, irony, and immense skill.…A profound, prismatic collection.”