We wrap up book news for our readers in our regular Book Digest segment with books from Namwali Serpell, Abdourahman Waberi, Touhfat Mouhtare, and Ebony Ladelle.
The Furrows By Namwali Serpell
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication Date: September 28, 2022
Where to find it: Penguin Random House
Namwali Serpell was born in Lusaka, Zambia, and lives in New York. She received a 2020 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing, and a 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her debut novel, The Old Drift, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and the Los Angeles Times’s Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; it was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review and one of Time magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of the Year. Her nonfiction book, Stranger Faces, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. She is currently a professor of English at Harvard.
I don’t want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt.
Cassandra Williams is twelve; her little brother, Wayne, is seven. One day, when they’re alone together, there is an accident and Wayne is lost forever. His body is never recovered. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt. Their father leaves, starts another family elsewhere. But their mother can’t give up hope and launches an organization dedicated to missing children.
As C grows older, she sees her brother everywhere: in bistros, airplane aisles, subway cars. Here is her brother’s face, the light in his eyes, the way he seems to recognize her, too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? Then one day, in another accident, C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who is also searching for someone and for his own place in the world. His name is Wayne.
Namwali Serpell’s remarkable new novel captures the uncanny experience of grief, the way the past breaks over the present like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a story of mistaken identity, double consciousness, and the wishful—and sometimes willful—longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.
Quand on n’a que la terre Et autres recueils by Abdourahman Waberi
Publication Date: September 2, 2022
Where to find it: Points
An acclaimed author, Abdourahman Waberi has published several books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He has received many awards and fellowships throughout his career. His work, originally published in French, has been translated in many languages, including English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
Quand on n’a que la terre Et autres recueils
Abdourahman Waberi’s poetry invites both inner dialogue and the discovery of the Other. Faced with the tragedy of our contemporary world in crisis, she transports us to the path of Beauty and the hidden meaning of the universe. A true nod to Jacques Brel, When we only have the earth also teaches us to love our planet, a love that proves to be contagious.
Le feu du Milieu by Touhfat Mouhtare
Publisher: Le bruit du monde
Publication Date: August 18, 2022
Where to find it: Le bruit du monde
Born in Moroni, Comoros, Touhfat Mouhtare grew up between her island and several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. She came to France to continue her studies, she now lives in the Val-d’Oise. She is the author of two books published in the Comoros: a collection of short stories, Âmes suspendues (Coelacanthe, 2011), and a novel, Vert cru (KomEdit, 2018, special mention of the Island Book Prize at the Ouessant fair).
Le feu du Milieu
A young servant in the town of Itsandra, in the Comoros, Gaillard grew up under the protection of two parental figures: her master, who taught her the Koran, and her adoptive mother, who told her the legends inherited from her slave ancestors from the other side of the sea. One day, in Ahmad wood, Gaillard meets Halima, a well-born young girl who is trying to escape a forced marriage. They become friends, to the point that before returning to submit to the paternal will, Halima entrusts Gaillard with a small object that she must keep without ever showing it.
Ten years later, when Gaillard suffered a terrible mutilation, the destinies of the young women intersect again. Halima reveals the secrets of the precious object: it contains knowledge buried in the memory of the world and holds the power to make them travel through space and time, in search of what they really are.
Love Radio by Ebony Ladelle
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Where to find it: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Ebony LaDelle is a marketing pusher by day, storyteller by night. Born in Michigan, awoken at Howard University, and cultivated in Brooklyn, Ebony can usually be found searching for her next live concert, scouting out the latest food craze to try, or being the undisputed Mom Friend of any group. She cohosted Why Not YA?, a @Belletrist and @EpicReads monthly video series where she interviewed authors in the young adult space. You can visit her online at EbonyLaDelle.com and follow her on social @EbonyLaDelle.
Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.
Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners. Until he meets Dani Ford.
Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago. And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.
When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for. Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.