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Linguistics and Literature: An Interview with Antoine Gnintedem, author of Alien at Home

Gnintedem 1

Antoine F. Gnintedem is the assistant principal of Middle College High School and a professor of education at Christian Brothers University.

As a linguistic consultant, he has worked for the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, he has served as an educational assessment expert for leading national and international testing companies, including College Board, Educational Testing Service, the International Baccalaureate, and Pearson Education.

His academic achievements include a Ph.D. in English language and literature and another doctorate in educational leadership.

As a member of the Rotary Club of Memphis, he derives tremendous satisfaction from doing community service in and around Shelby County, TN. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and currently serves as the District 6800 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair and the Rotary Peace Fellowship Subcommittee Chair.

Dr. Gnintedem is also the author of two historical fiction books, and has been nominated for the Richard Wright Literary Award.

He and his wife, Shanda, have two teenage children, Amber and Aaron.

You can buy Alien at Home here.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

While I am working on a book, possible titles come to my mind, and I jot them down progressively. When I finish writing, I look at all the titles I came up with and discuss them with my wife, who is a brilliant book lover. She helped me find a fitting title for the book.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

The three covers that the designer at Atmosphere Press suggested were all remarkable, but the one I chose aligned perfectly with the themes in my book. I was profoundly thrilled and immensely proud when the author’s copy arrived, and I could feel, touch, and smell the cover and all the pages. That feeling is almost comparable to the arrival of a newborn baby.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

My inspiration came from lived experiences and from the works of Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I am currently a public school administrator and a professor of education in Memphis, TN. I have worked as an assessment expert and a linguistic consultant for assessment companies and Federal Government agencies respectively.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

The most rewarding part of publishing has been meeting excited book lovers, answering their questions, and receiving feedback at book events.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Glory – John Legend

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope readers understand that racism is not just interracial—it can be intra-racial as in the case of African Americans who hate Black immigrants from different parts of the world. My ideal reader is open-minded, does additional research about the issues developed in the book, and takes action, wherever they are, to stem hate from our world.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am currently working on a sequel to Alien at Home.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

I would encourage other writers to publish with Atmosphere Press. They need to make sure to ask specific questions about all aspects of the process—before, during, and post-publication—before committing.

You can buy Alien at Home here.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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