Glitter and guts 

Interrogating the truth of the past

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  • Published 20240206
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-92-4
  • Extent: 203pp
  • Paperback, ePub, PDF, Kindle compatible

RIGHT NOW, I am obsessed with the past. My debut novel is finished and ready for publication, and I am wrestling with the fear and insecurity that comes with writing a second. To alleviate the anxiety of unknown plot points, unfamiliar characters and structure problems, I’ve sought refuge in the past, in the familiar. I watch and rewatch beloved time-travel movies. I read and re-read dearly loved books that transport me to a previous version of myself. Sometimes I roll my eyes at the person I was. Sometimes I weep. But always I return to the past to understand my present.

A few years ago I read Kindred by Octavia Butler for the first time. Written in 1979, when I was six years old, it tells the story of a Black American woman who travels through time against her will. Its voice is seamless, its form, style and prose the perfect template for any novel writer, but it is the revelation of the plot that stays with me. The truth that there is no time in all of history when it is safe to be a Black woman. 

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