PageTurners: Fighting With Fact and Fiction

PageTurners: Fighting With Fact and Fiction

Limitation of Life, The Unbroken, Red Island House
Limitation of Life, The Unbroken, Red Island House
Image: REGI Books, Orbit, Simon and Schuster
It's Lit!It's Lit!Where all things literary live at The Root

It seems as though authors this week are gearing us up for some sort of fight. Whether it be of the fictional kind or a nonfiction account of something or someone who inspires us to be or do better, these authors are coming in hot, armed with books that will leave you saying, “Fuck yeah, I can do anything.”

If you, like me, were glued to HBO watching Lovecraft Country this past fall, you know that Michael K. Williams’ character suffered severe PTSD from the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921. The majority of his trauma was kept under wraps until that episode, but when we finally watched what unfolded that night, viewers were shocked to their core. Now, 100 years later, Karlos K. Hill has released a photographic history of the event, including over 175 photographs—mostly taken by white photographers—and oral histories from people who had first- or secondhand accounts of the event.

Aside from the real-life fights explored this week, family and Afrofuturism take the top spot. Limitation of Life and The Unbroken explore the relationship between siblings yet in two very different ways. Family ties play a major role in literature and these two stories of time, death, loss and reconnecting drive forward the fight that authors are pushing for.

Here at The Root, we make it our mission to highlight the literary works of Black authors. However, this week we have made two exceptions for Rob Kenner and Kathy Iandoli. Their biographies of Nipsey Hussle and Aaliyah, respectively, outline the important historical and cultural effects that both artists had on not just the music industry but how their fans viewed themselves, from authors who covered them in life. I felt it was important to include both stories because I personally would be a much different person without the influence of each upon my life.

All of that said, each story, account and detail leads back to one thing––the fight we all have within and how we can use it to make a difference.

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Limitation of Life – d. E. Rogers (Fiction)

Limitation of Life – d. E. Rogers (Fiction)

Limitation of Life – d. E. Rogers
Limitation of Life – d. E. Rogers
Image: REGI Books

Brodie is convinced that his sister was murdered due to her work on building a time machine. Now he must use her machine to go back in time to save her life. And with alternate timelines piling on top of each other, he finds himself betrayed by those he thought he could trust. But everything comes at a cost, and there is no going back to the way things were before she died. Unsure if he’s able to live with the choices he’s made after altering history and after too many turns down the wrong path, is Brodie strong enough to decide who lives and who dies? Even more significantly, is it possible to live with everything so messed up?

March 23, REGI Books

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Red Island House – Andrea Lee (Fiction)

Red Island House – Andrea Lee (Fiction)

Red Island House – Andrea Lee
Red Island House – Andrea Lee
Image: Simon and Schuster

When Shay, a Black American professor who’s known for her adventurous streak, marries Senna, an Italian businessman, she never imagines that their life will exist beyond their home in Milan, much less across continents all the way to an idyllic stretch of beach in Madagascar. Before long, Shay’s adventurous life turns on its head as she’s caught between her privileged American upbringing and her connection to the continent of her ancestors. Red Island House blends magic, intimacy and wrongdoings to create a story of modern-day colonialism and conquest.

A captivating, powerful, and profoundly moving novel about marriage and loyalty, identity and freedom, Red Island House showcases an extraordinary literary voice and an extravagantly lush, enchanted world,” from Simon and Schuster.

March 23, Simon and Schuster

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The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History – Karlos K. Hill (Nonfiction)

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History – Karlos K. Hill (Nonfiction)

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History – Karlos K. Hill
The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History – Karlos K. Hill
Image: University of Oklahoma

Karlos K. Hill, historian and Black Studies professor from the University of Oklahoma collected over 175 photos and oral testimonials that shine a new spotlight on the Tulsa Race Massacre from different vantage points. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History features a range of photographs from before, during and after the massacre, taken by mostly white photographers—some of them published for the first time. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History makes the case for the case for referring to it as a “massacre” instead of a “riot” and provides never-before accounted for perspectives of the event.

March 23, University of Oklahoma Press

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The Unbroken – C. L. Clark (Fiction)

The Unbroken – C. L. Clark (Fiction)

The Unbroken – C. L. Clark
The Unbroken – C. L. Clark
Image: Orbit

Touraine is a soldier. After being stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her one loyalty is to her fellow soldiers. Back home there is a rebellion, and Touraine is sent home to fight.

Luca is on the opposing side of the empire, and her one goal is to get her uncle off the throne. To do so she needs someone who can help her from the other side and walk the line between committing treason and following orders. Through countless battles, bartering and blood ties, Touraine and Luca will fight over a nation and find that some things are more important than others.

March 23, 2021, Orbit

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The Whiteness of Wealth – Dorothy A. Brown (Nonfiction)

The Whiteness of Wealth – Dorothy A. Brown (Nonfiction)

The Whiteness of Wealth – Dorothy A. Brown
The Whiteness of Wealth – Dorothy A. Brown
Image: Penguin Random House

As a young girl growing up in the South Bronx, Dorothy A. Brown saw firsthand how racism limited the lives of her family and neighbors. She became a tax lawyer in hopes of escaping those dynamics but when she sat down to help her parents with their annual tax returns she noticed that as a plumber and a nurse they seemed to be paying an unusually high percentage of their income on taxes. The Whiteness of Wealth draws on decades of Brown’s cross-disciplinary research to show that tax law isn’t as color-blind as it claims to be.

Introducing readers to families from Atlanta, Brown shares an economic spectrum of stories that demonstrate how American tax law pushes Black people further behind while showing preference to white people. To solve this longstanding problem, Brown lays out the complete overhaul and rethinking of America’s tax code while also expressing the need for Black and white Americans to make different choices within their daily, monthly and annual lives.

March 23, Penguin Random House

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Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah – Kathy Iandoli (Biography)

Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah – Kathy Iandoli (Biography)

Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah
Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah
Image: Simon and Schuster

Aaliyah was 22 years old by the time she reached stardom. From hit songs and records her fame was rapidly escalating into the stratosphere. She was the “one in a million” and her tragic and unexpected death in a plane crash shook the world to its core. Twenty years later, stories of Aaliyah’s life and the cultural impact she had on the music industry come to light. Baby Girl features never-before-told stories from those close to her on the events leading up to her tragic passing and how she influenced artists today.

(This book was written without the participation of Aaliyah’s family/estate)

March 23, Simon and Schuster

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The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle – Rob Kenner

The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle – Rob Kenner

The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle
The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle
Image: Simon and Schuster

For the first time since his death in 2019, members of Nipsey Hussle’s inner circle will speak about the man they knew, his complex legacy and his determination to maintain integrity amidst the extremes of street life and its influence on rap. Ten years after their first conversation, it became clear to Kenner that Hussle had been consistently underestimated and that “The Marathon” was more than a mixtape or name of a store, but a way of life. “The Marathon” mentality became a metaphor for a relentless pursuit to overcome adversity day after day and Hussle’s determination to support the success of everyone in his community.

The Marathon Don’t Stop explores the life and times of Hussle’s legacy and how he became an integral and inspiring figure in hip hop culture.

March 23, Simon and Schuster

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