She Would Be King

Title:
She Would Be King
A Novel
Wayétu Moore
Price$26.00
Available for purchase on September 11, 2018
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"Epic, beautiful, and magical, this astonishing first novel boldly announces the arrival of a remarkable novelist and storyteller.”—Edwidge Danticat

“Lyrical, gripping, and throbbing with life in every word and sentence.”—Alexandra Kleeman

About the Book

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 at will, just as his mother could. 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.
 

Additional Reviews

“A powerful, compelling tale, told with poetry and fierce imagination.” —Maaza Mengiste

“Wayétu Moore is an inspiration. . . This book is a gift.”—Imbolo Mbue

She Would Be King reads like an enchanted, luscious fairy tale. . . . It’s told as if from heaven, hypnotic in its magic and surrealism.”—Dagoberto Gilb