The Atlantic

Where Fantasy Meets Black Lives Matter

A much-anticipated young-adult debut taps into a tradition of speculative fiction rooted in African culture.
Source: Daniela Yohannes

If a “Black Lives Matter–inspired fantasy novel” sounds like an ungainly hybrid—a pitch gone wrong—think again. The seven-figure book advance and movie deal bestowed a year ago on Tomi Adeyemi suggest the opposite: a convergence of themes likely to appeal to a very wide audience. Adeyemi, whose Children of Blood and Bone is the first volume of a projected trilogy, is a 24-year-old newcomer to the of young-adult literature, where demands for greater diversity of authorship and subject matter have lately been loud and clear. The Nigerian American writer isn’t a pioneer, though. Instead, her high-profile debut calls attention to an underheralded tradition. The creator of a mythical land called Orïsha, Adeyemi taps into a rich imaginative lineage as she weaves West African mythology into a bespoke world that resonates with our own.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min readPolitics
How Bad Constitutional Law Leads to Bad Economic Regulations
Ever since the New Deal, Congress has given the executive far too sweeping a mandate to interfere with huge sectors of the market.
The Atlantic5 min read
Watchmen Is a Blistering Modern Allegory
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
How to Protect America After the Syria Withdrawal