Where I Must Go

Trade Cloth – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-5185-7
Publication Date
September 2009
Page Count
400 pages
Trim Size
6.125 x 8.5

Where I Must Go

A Novel
Angela Jackson

Lyrical, penetrating, and highly charged, this novel displays a delicately tuned sense of difference and belonging. Poet Angela Jackson brings her superb sense of language and of human possibility to the story of young Magdalena Grace, whose narration takes readers through both privilege and privation at the time of the American civil rights movement.

The novel moves from the privileged yet racially exclusive atmosphere of the fictional Eden University to the black neighborhoods of a Midwestern city and to ancestral Mississippi. Magdalena’s story includes a wide range of characters—black and white, male and female, favored with opportunity or denied it, the young in love and elders wise with hope. With and through each other, they struggle to understand the history they are living and making. With dazzling perceptiveness, Jackson’s narrator Magdalena tells of the complex interactions of people around her who embody the personal and the political at a crucial moment in their own lives and in the making of America.

About the Author

Angela Jackson was born in Greenville, Mississippi, raised on Chicago’s South Side, and educated at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Her Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners, winner of the 1993 Chicago Sun-Times Book of the Year Award in Poetry and the 1994 Carl Sandburg Award for Poetry, and her selected poems, And All These Roads Be Luminous, are both published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern.


"Published 40 years after the events it portrays, in an America with an African-American president, Where I Must Go is a vivid re-creation of a past that helped create our present." —Chicago Tribune

“The long-awaited novel by the poet Angela Jackson takes its place among the American stories that have been told of this country’s long march toward democracy.  It is about the generation that led to way for an Obama era … Ms. Jackson skillfully takes us back to a time in recent history to deliver an engaging and poetically crafted narrative of personal triumph.  Bravo, Ms. Jackson.” —Ana Castillo, author of The Guardians: A Novel

“A novel of deep humanity, tenderness, and wisdom, a delight to read, and a work of great significance for American literature.” —Reginald Gibbons, author of Creatures of a Day, 2008 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry