Sorrowland

Sorrowland

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Vern, a Black woman with albinism, is hunted after escaping a religious compound, then she discovers that her body is changing and that she is developing extra-sensory powers.

Alone in the woods, she gives birth to twins and raises them away from the influence of the outside world. But something is wrong - not with them, but with her own body. It's itching, it's stronger, it's... not normal.

To understand her body's metamorphosis, Vern must investigate not just the secluded religious compound she fled but the violent history of dehumanisation, medical experimentation, and genocide that produced it. In the course of reclaiming her own darkness, Vern learns that monsters aren't just individuals, but entire histories, systems, and nations.

'Sorrowland is a wonderland of fantastical and frightening, magical and real. At the centre of this world and leaping off the page is Vern: unstoppable, unforgettable, and unlike anyone you have ever seen before.' MARLON JAMES, Booker Prize-winning author

'A fantastical, fierce reckoning ... Sorrowland is gorgeous, and the writing, the storytelling, are magnificent. This country has a dark history of what it's willing to do to black bodies, and Rivers Solomon lays that truth bare in a most unexpected, absolutely brilliant way.'
ROXANE GAY

'A furious utopia. Utterly compelling, brilliant and terrifying. Sorrowland seizes the history of white supremacy, racist medical experimentation, and the dream - and danger - of the commune and gnashes it into something magnificent and truly reparative. An epic fantasy that interweaves righteous, large-scale confrontations with power, extremely sexy and moving erotic gothic horror, and exquisite, meticulous renderings of the daily life of parenting. This is a fairy tale for adults, spangled in the wreckage of the world. A gorgeous, singular, and profound work.' JORDY ROSENBERG, author of Confessions of the Fox

© Rivers Solomon 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Reviews

  • A fantastical, fierce reckoning ... Sorrowland is gorgeous, and the writing, the storytelling, are magnificent. This country has a dark history of what it's willing to do to black bodies, and Rivers Solomon lays that truth bare in a most unexpected, absolutely brilliant way.
    Roxane Gay

About the author

Rivers Solomon

Rivers Solomon is the author of An Unkindness of Ghosts, winner of the CLMP Firecracker Award for best independently published novel, and The Deep, a novella written in collaboration with Daveed Diggs and the rap group clipping., which was the winner of the 2020 Lambda Award and a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and Goodreads Choice literary awards. Faer writing has been featured in Black Warrior Review, The New York Times, Guernica, Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. Originally from Turtle Island, fae currently lives in London with faer family.
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