Home About Us Catalog Borrowing Services Resources Programs & Events Locations

Synopsis of the book

Book follows Peazant family 24 years after film

Inspired by her Sundance Festival award-winning film Daughters of the Dust, Julie Dash put her cinematic vision on the page, penning a rich, magical novel that follows the story of a family of complex, independent African-American women.

Set in the 1920s in the sea islands off the South Carolina coast where the Gullah people preserved much of their African heritage and language, Daughters Of The Dust chronicles the lives of the Peazant family. Originally from the Ibo Landing area, the family’s ancestors were enslaved and brought to the islands more than 100 years before.

In the book, native New Yorker Amelia Peazant returns to her mother's sea island home to trace her family's history. From her multigenerational clan she gathers colorful stories, learning about "the first man and woman," the slaves who walked across the water back home to Africa, the ways men and women need each other, and the intermingling of African and Native-American cultures.

Through her experiences, Amelia comes to treasure her family traditions and her relationship with her fiercely independent cousin Elizabeth. Daughters of the Dust is ultimately a story of homecoming and the reclaiming of family and cultural heritage.