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Imprint: Magpie

Subject: General Fiction

On the Rooftop

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton


A Most Anticipated Book according to The Millions, Ms. Magazine and Good Housekeeping

Vivian is a formidable matriarch, raising her three daughters to fulfil their potential as jazz singers. She may have compromised her own ambitions when she was forced to flee racist violence in her home state of Louisiana, but she dreams of a bigger life for their daughters.

Talented, hardworking and driven by their uncompromising mother, Ruth Esther and Chloe find stardom as The Salvations. But somewhere between rehearsals on the rooftop and weekly gigs at the Champagne Supper Club, the girls become women – women with hopes and plans of their own. Vivian has always maintained impeccable control. Now, she must confront changes in The Salvations, in the San Francisco neighbourhood she has made her home, and even in her own family.

Warm, gripping, and thrumming with the music of jazz era San Francisco, On the Rooftop is a beautiful novel about family and ambition, sisterhood and the strength it takes to forge a life of one’s own. 

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. Her most recent novel, The Revisioners, won a 2020 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and was a national bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award. She lives in Oakland with her family.

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