I always have two books going. One audio and one physical. Nia’s Return was my first #readdiverse2016 audiobook.
This book really framed the task of reading diversely for me, in that it was a reminder that not only will I be encountering great descriptions of different skins tones, more often finding the text peppered with foreign phrases or new-to-me cultural references, but I will come across differences in narrative style that may be culturally driven as well.
Having not done the definitive study I’m not sure if it’s actually a trend, but I have found a very simple, declarative style in many narratives from African writers, and I found a similar style here.
Nia’s Return is the private detective genre gone peak-oil, self-sufficiency, skipping toward the end of the world. Our protagonist is an out black vegan lesbian with her own demons, determined to keep to herself as she builds a home to survive the end of days but both love and trouble both show up on her doorstep as they always do in Noir.
The setting is novel. The city is Atlanta, but the antagonists are a Freegans and the underbelly our hero goes to is literally seedy –some characters go off the grid frequently, living only off the land, others are saving up for farmsteads, and helping the homeless with the same raider zeal we see mostly in stock traders.
The audio fell flat for me. If you’re interested see if you can find a print or ecopy. A new angle on the hard boiled dick, femme fatale included, but no eggs.