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She Would Be King
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About the Author

Way tu 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.

Reviews

"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 "[A] bold de but. . . . The force and the symbolism of myth pervade Moore's engrossing tale."--The New Yorker "Reading Way tu Moore's debut novel, She Would Be King, feels a lot like watching a superb athlete's performance. . . . Moore makes deft use of magical realism, and her plot and its details are compelling. . . . Like her remarkable protagonist Gbessa, the author has tapped into her own backstory-and emerged with literary superpowers."--TIME "This compelling debut novel by Way tu Moore blends historical fiction with magical realism in an exhilarating tale of the formation of Liberia. 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"Hotly anticipated. . . . A breathtaking retelling of the founding of Liberia. . . . Way tu Moore's magical realism can make anyone believe in how connected humans are to the world around them."--Glamour "Fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be intrigued by this debut novel, a reimagining of Liberia's infancy in the 19th century."--Harper's Bazaar "In She Would Be King, debut novelist Way tu Moore reimagines Liberia's past, building a world so clear and evocative you would swear you were in it."--BuzzFeed"Moore's debut unflinchingly depicts the convergence of brutal forces--colonialism, the slave trade--while brushing it with a glimmer of magic."--HuffPost"Moore's vivid characters, beguiling language and powerful subject matter engage us thoroughly. The book is unforgettable."--Star Tribune (Minneapolis) "Moore veers from fantasy to lush descriptions and sharp characterization, shedding light on the fleeting moment when the vast African diaspora reversed itself."--Vulture "Stunning. . . . It is an epic narrative, weaving together themes of diasporic conflict, the legacy of bondage, isolation, and community, and it offers a transcendent, important look at the ways in which the past is never fully behind us, and instead echoes throughout everything we do."--NYLON"Moore skillfully blends historical fiction with magical realism in this immersive interpretation of Liberia's roots."--BUST "This dynamic novel leaves you both satisfied and full of anticipation for what's to come, in fiction and in reality."--The Rumpus "Moore's debut is magnetic."--Santa Fe New Mexican "Women everywhere will find themselves admiring the powerful Gbessa in She Would Be King."--PopSugar"Moore's insightful, emotional descriptions graft these stories right onto readers' hearts ."--BookPage "Composed and compelling, brimming with devastating truths and sparkling with ferocity, this is a masterpiece of a debut."--BookReporter.com "The dialog is fluid and poetic, allowing readers to imagine the events, sights, smells, feelings, and sensations. As with Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing, this work will appeal to lovers of African, African American, and literary fiction."--Library Journal, starred review "Moore uses an accomplished, penetrating style--with clever swerves into fantasy--to build effective critiques of tribal misogyny, colonial abuse, and racism."--Publishers Weekly "An ambitious, genre-hopping, continent-spanning novel. . . . Moore is a brisk and skilled storyteller who weaves her protagonists' disparate stories together with aplomb yet is also able to render her sprawling cast of characters in ways that feel psychologically compelling. In addition, the novel's various settings--Virginia, Jamaica, and West Africa--are depicted so lushly that readers will find themselves enchanted."--Kirkus Reviews

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