I’ve seen the cover for Rivers Solomon‘s The Deep around the internet a few times over the past couple of weeks. Inspired by a song by Clipping for an episode of This American Life, “We Are In The Future,” the premise really caught my attention:
The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society — and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future…
Yetu holds the memories for her people — water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners — who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one — the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities — and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past — and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity — and own who they really are.
Clipping is comprised of Daveed Diggs (most recently mega-famous for being in Hamilton), William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes.
The Deep is due to be published by Saga Press in November 2019. Looking forward to reading it. Rivers Solomon is also the author of the acclaimed An Unkindness of Ghosts, published by Akashic Books in North America and in the UK.