Tuesday, November 6
EAST BAY BOOKSELLERS welcomes Wayetu Moore to discuss She Would Be King, on Tuesday, Novmber 6th at 7pm. She will be joined in conversation by Faith Adiele.
A novel of exhilarating range, magical realism, and history—a dazzling retelling of Liberia’s formation
Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.
Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wayetu Moore is the founder of One Moore Book and is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University, and the University of Southern California. She teaches at the City University of New York’s John Jay College and lives in Brooklyn.
Faith Adiele is author of The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide To Lady Problems and Meeting Faith, which won the PEN Beyond Margins Award for memoir; writer/narrator/subject of the PBS documentary My Journey Home; and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology. An Associate Professor at California College of the Arts, she is founder of African Book Club in Oakland. Find her at http://adiele.com and @meetingfaith.