The dark blue, slightly purple-tinged cover of Maud Newton’s Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation (Random House, March 2022), with the title and author’s name in white; the subtitle in mustard yellow; a quilt motif in mustard, cornflower blue, aquamarine, pink, tan, and salmon-red; photos of the author’s grandmother, great-grandparents, grandfather, and (infant) mother; the author’s eye; snippets of an ancestor’s witchcraft trial testimony and an article on her grandfather’s union.


My great-great grandfather, Sylvester Kinchen, driving Granny and her little sister somewhere in his wagon, with a very hungry horse.
  • She looked at me like a calf at a new gate.


On the front porch of my first house in Miami, at age four or five.


Gargoyles. © Colin 2013.


A dining room table. In the foreground, two composition notebooks and several typewritten pages with notes scribbled across them, alongside a nearly empty glass of water and two mugs filled with hot beverages. Further back on the table, a cat. Beyond that, a trunk with some books on it. In the corner, a rocking chair.
Revisions, October 2019


In my other life I do just as my parents want.

Image: Riley Kaminer



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When visiting your family becomes a chore

Maud Newton

Writer. Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation coming from Random House, March 2022. Opinions mine. She/they.

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