An epic novel set in mid-nineteenth-century America about the spiritual costs of a freedom that demands fierce protection
In this ingenious, sweeping novel, Phillip B. Williams introduces us to an enigmatic woman named Saint, a fearsome conjuror who, in the 1830s, annihilates plantations all over Arkansas to rescue the people enslaved there. She brings those she has freed to a haven of her own creation: a town just north of St. Louis, magically concealed from outsiders, named Ours.
It is in this miraculous place that Saint's grand experiment--a truly secluded community where her people may flourish--takes root. But although Saint does her best to protect the inhabitants of Ours, over time, her conjuring and memories begin to betray her, leaving the town vulnerable to intrusions by newcomers with powers of their own. As the cracks in Saint's creation are exposed, some begin to wonder whether the community's safety might be yet another form of bondage.
Set over the course of four decades and steeped in a rich tradition of American literature informed by Black surrealism, mythology, and spirituality, Ours is a stunning exploration of the possibilities and limitations of love and freedom by a writer of capacious vision and talent.
Phillip B. Williams is from Chicago, Illinois, and is the author of two collections of poetry, Thief in the Interior, which was the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Lambda Literary Award, and Mutiny, which was a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection and the winner of a 2022 American Book Award. Williams is also the recipient of a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently teaches in the MFA creative writing program at New York University.
- Publisher: Viking
- Publish Date: February 20, 2024
- Pages: 592
- Dimensions: 0.0 X 0.0 X 0.0 inches | 1.25 pounds
- Language: English
- Type: Hardcover
- EAN/UPC: 9780593654828
- BISAC Categories: Literary - African American - Historical - Magical Realism