It’s a manic Monday at my house !
Welcome to my stop on THE FREEDOM RACE by Lucinda Roy
Official Blog Tour.
The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope.
In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and Biracial “Muleseeds” are bred.
Raised in captivity on Planting 437, kitchen-seed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule knows there is only one way to escape. She must enter the annual Freedom Race as a runner.
Ji-ji and her friends must exhume a survival story rooted in the collective memory of a kidnapped people and conjure the voices of the dead to light their way home.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
Praise for THE FREEDOM RACE
“Every now and then a work comes along that makes you wonder whether you are reading or dreaming. And you’re not sure it matters which.” ―Nikki Giovanni
“You ever have the feeling that if you don’t read something, you may be missing out on something momentous happening? . . . I got that vibe from the first page of The Freedom Race. It has a prescience about it in the tradition of Octavia Butler. . . . If ‘resilience’ was a book, it would be The Freedom Race.” ―Maurice Broaddus, author of Buffalo Soldier
“Roy (The Hotel Alleluia) turns to speculative fiction for the first time with this lyrical, Afrofuturist hero’s quest set in the not-too-distant future. …[Ji-Ji’s] harrowing but profoundly spiritual quest for sovereignty against all odds impresses. Readers … will appreciate both the tenacious heroine and Roy’s intricate prose stylings.” ―Publishers Weekly
“The future Lucinda Roy calls up in The Freedom Race is a fierce, unsettling riff on our past and present. Instead of watching democracy evaporate and justice fail, Ms. Roy challenges us all to get over ourselves and join the race for freedom.” ―Andrea Hairston, author of Will Do Magic for Small Change
“American magic-realism meets the outcome of the Second U.S. Civil War in a well-told, but brutally jolting, strangely prescient, and soul-haunting narrative.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., bestselling author of the Saga of Recluce series
THE FREEDOM RACE BY LUCINDA ROY EXCERPT
Chapter 1, Excerpt 1
Ji-ji might have been afraid to tell Silapu the unvarnished truth, but Uncle Dreg had no such reservations. When he’dvisited them to deliver the cradle a few hours after Silapuhad given birth, he’d also delivered dire warnings about the dangers that awaited them should they try to run (though how he knew they’d been thinking about doing so, neither of them could figure out). He painted an alarming picture: the SuperStates and Independents were turning away hordes of asylum seekers; outbreaks of metaflu, cholera, and malaria had turned the squalid shantytowns that had sprung up around the Independents into death traps. If they made it to Dream City without entry papers, they would join the thousands of other refugees in the No Region. They would live in sight of a Dream they could never enter and a wall they could never climb.
The old wizard had taken Silapu’s hand tenderly in his own. “Place your trust in the Freedom Race,” he’d told her. “And in your courageous offspring. I have never seen another racer fly as fast as your thirdborn. When Ji-ji wins, she will petition for you and the infant.”
In a tone brimming with certainty, Uncle Dreg had told Silapu her lastborn had come to him as a grown Freeman during one of his journeys through future-time. “He stood tall in the Cradle, like your father. His voice echoed across the land. I have also seen Ji-ji in the Window-of-What’s-to-Come, wearing the Freedom Race logo and running like the wind. So you see, Sila. All will be well.”
After Dreg had left, Silapu—no slouch herself when it came to manipulation—said it was ironic that the old wizard had used Ji-ji’s gift as a runner to persuade them not to run. Then she’d said something else that still haunted Ji-ji: “Let us hope we do not regret placing so much faith in your abilities, Jellybean.” Ever since, Ji-ji had thrown herself even more aggressively into her training, often going on late-night runs in addition to predawn ones, running till her feet bled and her heart was a piston in her chest. She was their only hope now; she had to succeed.
Copyright © 2021 by Lucinda Roy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Novelist and poet Lucinda Roy’s latest book deal is with Tor/Macmillan for her futuristic slave narrative series The Freedom Race. Her previous novels are Lady Moses, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and The Hotel Alleluia. Her poetry books are entitled Wailing the Dead to Sleep, The Humming Birds, and Fabric: Poems. She also authored the memoir No Right to Remain Silent: What We’ve Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech. Among her awards are the Eighth Mountain Prize for Poetry, the 2017 Zenobia Hikes Woman of Color in the Academy Award, and the Baxter Hathaway Prize for her long slave narrative poem “Needlework.” An Alumni Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech, she has been a guest on numerous TV and radio shows, including The CBS Evening News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS’s Sunday Morning, Oprah, and NPR. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, North American Review, American Poetry Review, and many other publications. She delivers keynotes and presentations around the country on creative writing, diversity, campus safety, and higher education. Currently, she is working on her speculative novel series, a book of ekphrastic poems, and a series of oil paintings depicting the Middle Passage.
PHOTO CREDIT: LARRY JACKSON
ENDS: AUGUST 2, 2021
—Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter–
5 Winners will receive a Copy of THE FREEDOM RACE by Lucinda Roy.