The Record Keeper

Agnes Gomillion. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-1-78909-115-1
Gomillion debuts with a gut-punch Afrofuturist novel that examines the incalculable damage systemic racism wreaks on individuals and societies, and the many forms liberation can take. Sometime in the future, in the aftermath of WWIII, societies enforce peace through rigidly controlled racial hierarchies. That control includes using medication to erase the memories of the less privileged. Born in the remnants of America, Arika Cobane inhabits the upper echelons of the race of dark-skinned laborers known as the Kongo, trained by her white teachers to be a record keeper and write false histories that reinforce social norms. As rumors spread of rebels challenging the state’s authority, a new Kongo student, Hosea Khan, enters Arika’s class, shocking her by openly questioning the violence committed against the Kongo people on the pretext of upholding peace. Arika helps Hosea nurse injured laborers, confronts her complicity in the structures of power that perpetuate the Kongo’s enslavement, and devotes herself to tearing those structures apart, starting by leading an uprising against the school’s teachers and administrators. This intellectually rich, emotional, and ruthlessly honest confrontation of racism proves Gomillion is a critically important new voice. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/26/2019
Release date: 06/18/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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