New & Noteworthy Fiction
One of the most unique, funnest novels I read this past year. The world Marlon James builds in this book is unlike anything you've ever read before, and he populates it with the most wonderfully idiosyncratic characters in a gender-bending, myth-making, madcap adventure story set in a fantastical African kingdom of yesteryear. Funny, fascinating, sexy (yes, he writes great sex scenes!), and riveting, I guarantee you'll have a great time with this one-of-a-kind book. And best of all, it's only the first in a series, and there should be at least two more to come!
— Jacob R
I skipped mass the week I read this but still got taken to church.
These twelve interconnected stories manage to describe the breadth and depth of black women’s experience in Britain, across history, generations, and locations. These stories, which were composed over a period of six years, are written in verse, so that you are lulled, as you read, into the poetry of the project, the ways in which, while there is no overarching story, Evaristo depicts a world in which connectedness is achieved through the commoness of experience.
When I heard of this three-act-play in the Spring of 2018,I got my hands on a copy of the American Theater issue that featured the full text of Slave Play. Reading it, I was fully engrossed in the text from the first page on to the very last. I laughed out loud. I made audible gasps. I sucked my teeth and screeched “yesss” throughout my commute. Slave Play is an enthralling play about interracial dating as well as what the black partners experience in their relationship, and from their partners. Slave Play addresses the social conditions placed on Black people and on being taken in by the white gaze. Jeremy O. Harris writes thought-provoking and nuanced characters, who have the urge to be seen, understood, and loved by their white counterpoints.
A compassionate story. Both unapologetically, specifically black, and universal. A beautiful homage to the ancestors and to New York. Me, wedged between generations as both daughter and mother, the novel gave me new eyes to see and the desire to know the stories of those who have come before me, as I sit with both the weight and the opportunity to craft the stories to be passed to my daughters. A quick read, even in its depth.