Sorrowland

by Solomon, Rivers,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 24 Libraries 56 of 91 copies
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Summary

A triumphant, genre-bending breakout novel from one of the boldest new voices in contemporary fiction

Vern--seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised--flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future--outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it.

Rivers Solomon's Sorrowland is a genre-bending work of Gothic fiction. Here, monsters aren't just individuals, but entire nations. It is a searing, seminal book that marks the arrival of a bold, unignorable voice in American fiction.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Vern is fifteen and pregnant when she escapes from the compound of the Blessed Acres of Cain into the surrounding forest. She gives birth while being hunted by someone--or something--that seems able to locate her with uncanny ease, but manages to remain free. With her twins, Howling and Feral, Vern survives in the woods for years as her body hardens and strengthens far beyond human limitations, though she is also haunted by visions of Cainites past and present. When the hunter resurfaces, the small family is forced to follow a long-cold trail through unknown territory toward someone from Vern's past. Even as they navigate the new wilderness of highways, strangers, and capitalism to find a safe haven, Vern's body continues its slow and painful transformation into a wondrous armored form, capable of amazing feats. With the aid of new allies and an understanding of the truth behind the Blessed Acres of Cain, Vern must confront those responsible for concocting a twisted science experiment in the guise of a religious Black nationalist enclave. Solomon once again stretches the boundaries of speculative fiction in this distinct and visceral exploration of the trauma of Black and queer bodies in an all-too believable near future."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Solomon's outstanding third novel (after The Deep) revisits the themes of memory and responsibility through two new lenses: horror and contemporary thriller. Vern, an albino, intersex, Black child raised in a cult known as the Blessed Acres of Cain, flees to the woods as a seven-months-pregnant 15-year-old, giving birth to twins she names Howling and Feral. The new family is pursued by "the fiend," who appears to the nearly blind Vern as "a white blur." The fiend scatters animal carcasses throughout the woods (often pointedly targeting animal families to send a message to Vern and her children) and sets dangerous fires. For four years Vern raises her twins without other human contact, until a cataclysmic encounter with the fiend, fearsome changes in her own body, and relentless hauntings drive her to seek answers in the world outside the woods. This plot is the most accessible of Solomon's work to date, but they use the deceptively simple story to delve deep into Vern's struggle to forge her own identity without buckling under the weight of history. As in their debut, An Unkindness of Ghosts, Solomon often packs so much into each image that the result can be overwhelming. They display a maturing control of their craft, employing a breathtaking range of reference that will enable any reader, from horror geek to Derridean academic, to engage with this thrilling tale. This is a tour de force. Agent: Seth Fishman, the Gernert Co. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Survival -- Fiction.
Twins -- Fiction.
Racism -- Fiction.
Metamorphosis -- Fiction.
Cult members -- Fiction.
Magic realism (Literature) -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Horror fiction.
Gothic fiction.
Publisher New York :2021
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 355 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780374266776
0374266778
Other Classic View