cover image The Confession of Copeland Cane

The Confession of Copeland Cane

Keenan Norris. Unnamed, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-1-951213-25-1

Norris (Brother and the Dancer) delivers a powerful treatise on the double consciousness of a young Black man in this dystopian look at police oppression and surveillance in the 2030s. Coming of age in East Oakland amid racial terror in the form of televised police brutality and the “Ghetto Flu” (alternately defined as a deadly flu similar to Covid-19 and the myriad challenges faced “due to living in the hood”) 18-year-old Cope Cane becomes a fugitive after his role in a protest that turned violent. Beloved by his swap meet queen mother and unemployed father, Cope, who previously landed a private school scholarship, now chronicles his transformation into a societal threat to freshman journalism student Jacqueline. In alternate chapters, Cope and Jacqueline unpack the complexities of miseducation, poverty, and policing, and give a nightmarish view of media-security empire Soclear Broadcasting. Cope’s persuasive and irresistible “confession” to Jacqueline emerges in nonsequential strands, circling around the crime he’s suspected of having committed while outlining the economic, legal, and social disparities faced by a dark-complected person in a politically divided country ravaged by a global pandemic. In Cope, Norris has created a voice that cannot be ignored. (June)