Asha Bandele

Award-winning author and journalist Asha Bandele’s first memoir, The Prisoner’s Wife, told the story of her marriage to an incarcerated man she met when performing her poetry at prisons. The book went through four printings in hardcover and twelve in paperback. With the hope that they would live as a couple in the outside world, Bandele became pregnant with a daughter during a conjugal visit. But when their daughter was 6 months old, Bandele learned that her husband, Rashid, would be deported if he was indeed released. All of Bandele’s dreams of a happy life disintegrated, and what follows in her second memoir, Something Like Beautiful, is her struggle to hold down her job as an editor at Essence, to raise her daughter, to balance her finances, to fight discrimination. 

Bandele is also the author of two collections of poems and the novel, Daughter. She directs the Advocacy Grants Program at Drug Policy Alliance and lives in Brooklyn with her daughter, Nisa.

Photo Credit - Mary Ellen Mark