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She Would Be King

A Novel
Wayétu Moore
She Would Be King is a spectacular blend of history and magical realism that follows three extraordinary characters: in the West African village of Lai, red-haired Gbessa is cursed with immortality at birth and lives in exile under suspicion of being a witch; on a plantation in Virginia, June Dey hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee; and in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave, learns to fade from sight at will. When the three of them meet in the colony of Monrovia, it isn’t long before they realize that they are all cursed—or, perhaps, uniquely gifted. Together they protect the weak and vulnerable amid rising tensions between the American settlers, French slave traders, and indigenous tribes.

In her transcendent debut, Wayétu Moore reimagines the tumultuous and dramatic story of Liberia, a country whose past and present are inextricably bound to the United States. With great poise and lyricism, she captures the epic excitement of a nation’s founding and explores themes of community, loyalty, and the complex ties that bind the African diaspora. She Would Be King resonates deeply with our current moment and, as Edwidge Danticat observes, “boldly announces the arrival of a remarkable novelist and storyteller.”
 

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$16.00
ISBN
978-1-64445-001-7
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
320
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
“An ambitious and expansive novel that explores the nuances of Liberian history.”—The New York Times

About the Author

Wayétu  Moore
Credit: Yoni Levy

Wayétu Moore is the author of She Would Be King and the founder of One Moore Book. She is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University, and the University of Southern California. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

https://www.wayetu.com/
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Upcoming Events

Wayétu Moore appearing as part of Harrisburg Book Festival

Date:
Location:
Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, PAview map
In conversation with R.O Kwon and Joanne Ramos. 

Wayétu Moore appearing at East City Bookshop

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Location:

Praise

  • “Moore skillfully reconsiders the idealism of the early African-American settlers through their interactions with the indigenous peoples and braids together intimate story lines centered around universal themes: falling in love, defying familial expectations and the difficulties of doing the right thing.”—The New York Times
  • “Reading Wayétu Moore’s debut novel, She Would Be King, feels a lot like watching a superb athlete’s performance. . . . [Moore] has tapped into her own backstory—and emerged with literary superpowers.”—TIME
  • “Hotly anticipated. . . . A breathtaking retelling of the founding of Liberia. . . . Wayétu Moore’s magical realism can make anyone believe in how connected humans are to the world around them.”Glamour
  • “Exhilarating. . . . Moore effortlessly weaves the threads of indigenous West African tribes, American and Caribbean slavery, and British colonialism together to tell the creation story of a new nation, complete with unforgettable characters and a dynamic voice.”Marie Claire
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