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Laurie Jean Cannady

Laurie Jean Cannady has published an array of articles and essays on poverty in America, community and domestic violence, and women’s issues. She has also spoken against sexual assault in the military at West Point Military Academy. Her memoir, Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul was named one of the best nonfiction books by black authors in 2015 by The Root online magazine. A Kirkus review describes Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul as a "bold, honest, and courageous memoir." Most recently, Foreword Reviews announced Crave as an Indiefab Book of the Year 2015 finalist in the autobiography/​ memoir category. Additionally, Crave was named a finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award for Nonfiction.

Laurie Jean resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, Chico, and their three children. She serves as a professor of English at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and creative writing faculty in the Wilkes University MA/​MFA low-residency Creative Writing Program. She holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Laurie Jean was recently inducted into the illustrious Zeta Phi Beta Sorority as an honorary member. 

Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul


Set in the poorest neighborhoods of Virginia, Crave is a gritty coming-of-age memoir that chronicles a young girl perpetually hungry for food, safety and survival but possessed by a fierce will not just to survive, but to flourish. Laurie Jean Cannady is assertive, motivational, and unafraid.  Her voice is lyrical and august yet strangely intimate; her lucid memory for the texture of daily existence weaves the reader into the fabric of her story. We discover that the most slender threads bind the strongest, and we know that she will survive. 

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