Q&A: One Maryland One Book ‘What’s Mine and Yours’ author Naima Coster
Frederick News-Post, September 28, 2022
by Angela Roberts
Naima Coster, the New York Times bestselling author of the intricately told tale “What’s Mine and Yours,” will visit Frederick on Oct. 3 during the Maryland Humanities Council’s One Maryland One Book Tour.
72 Hours caught up with Coster recently about her inspiration for “What’s Mine and Yours” and how her life experiences influenced the writing of it.
Her answers have been edited slightly for length and clarity.
What inspired you to write “What’s Mine and Yours”?
I was inspired by Nikole Hannah-Jones’s reporting for “This American Life” on an integration initiative in the Normandy school district in Missouri, which is the district where Michael Brown graduated from high school. There’s a wonderful episode that includes audio footage of a community meeting about the integration initiative and resistance to it, the origins of it, and it made me wonder about the coming together of students from different parts of the community, across lines of class and race, and how that would affect the children, certainly, but also their parents, and the relationships that formed in the new school.
That became the seed of “What’s Mine and Yours,” but from there, I had to imagine the distinct characters and the two families the book would focus on.