November 4, 2019 by TinyNavajo
The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊
*To be published November 5, 2019*
I received an ARC from BookishFirst. This in no way affects my thoughts on the book or the following review.
I first saw this book first start to circulate on Tumblr, and the idea of mermaids born from slave women thrown from slaver ships and memories and how this all effects a culture that forces itself to forget.
Octavia E. Butler meets Marvel’s Black Panther in The Deep, a story rich with Afrofuturism, folklore, and the power of memory, inspired by the Hugo Award–nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’s rap group Clipping.
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
The Deep is “a tour de force reorientation of the storytelling gaze…a superb, multilayered work,” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) and a vividly original and uniquely affecting story inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping.
This was such an interesting book and I loved it all! I loved how a culture was created from a time in history where cultures were destroyed by those who stole many away from their homes. Yetu is the Historian, the one who was called upon to Remember the memories of her people, to help them retain their culture, and who they are. But this only happens once a year, for the rest of it, Yetu is required to hold all the Rememberings and it’s eating away at her mind.
But at this most recent Remembering, Yetu flees and leaves her people to be trapped in the memories of their ancestors. She is flung far and wide and becomes trapped in a small pool of water where she finds out more about her people, her life, and what it means to remember; not only for herself, but for her people as well.
This was an awesome book and one that I was really excited to be read as soon as it came out. I also like how it’s a story that is told through the several lenses, not just the from the story, but the music that inspired it and the thought of a race of people born of slave women thrown overboard.
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