Publisher’s Blurb: In this Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.
Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative.
Oh lordy, this book is searing, devastating and enthralling at all once. Whitehead’s powerful writing tells the story of two boys in a hell hole of a juvenile detention home in Florida. No one could possibly believe in a “post-racist” society while events like this happen.
In 7,900 words Ozzie M. Gartrell’s The Transition of OSOOSI gives us a cyberpunk story of an audacious idea to eradicate bigotry.
Mal is a “Citizen American, a native-born U.S. citizen with all the second-class rights thereof.” (p. 44) He’s also a visionary who in the process of following that vision alienates everyone important to him. Seeking entry into the world of the elite Anansi community, Mal pitches an idea so provocative he is questioned about how far he’s willing to go to make it happen.
None of us should be shocked at the treatment Citizen Americans receive at the hands of True Citizens. But it is shocking, and heart breaking. The transphobic treatment of Mal’s twin Mar in a favorite restaurant, the casual racism of being pulled over by a True Citizen cop, is all too common. This is what it is to be black in America.
With shades of William Gibson‘s cyberpunk classic Sprawl Trilogy, the best of current hacktivist culture, and a nod to West African mythology, Gatrell places themselves on the path to an interesting career of bold writing.
Downloading empathy into every True Citizen using stolen tech is a truly courageous idea. How else do we make changes to systemic bigotry?