We Are a Haunting
"What a beautiful, haunting and hued narrative of American living. I'm in love with this story and the way Tyriek White breathes life into these characters." --Jacqueline Woodson, MacArthur Fellow and author of Another Brooklyn
"This novel is so New York--so, so New York--yet so deeply southern on lower frequencies. It's astonishing." --Kiese Laymon, MacArthur Fellow and author of Long Division
A poignant debut for readers of Jesmyn Ward and Jamel Brinkley, We Are a Haunting follows three generations of a working class family and their inherited ghosts: a story of hope and transformation.
In 1980's Brooklyn, Key is enchanted with her world, glowing with her dreams. A charming and tender doula serving the Black women of her East New York neighborhood, she lives, like her mother, among the departed and learns to speak to and for them. Her untimely death leaves behind her mother Audrey, who is on the verge of losing the public housing apartment they once shared. Colly, Key's grieving son, soon learns that he too has inherited this sacred gift and begins to slip into the liminal space between the living and the dead on his journey to self-realization.
In the present, an expulsion from school forces Colly across town where, feeling increasingly detached and disenchanted with the condition of his community, he begins to realize that he must, ultimately, be accountable to the place he is from. After college, having forged an understanding of friendship, kinship, community, and how to foster love in places where it seems impossible, Colly returns to East New York to work toward addressing structural neglect and the crumbling blocks of New York City public housing he was born to; discovering a collective path forward from the wreckages of the past. A supernatural family saga, a searing social critique, and a lyrical and potent account of displaced lives, We Are a Haunting unravels the threads connecting the past, present, and future, and depicts the palpable, breathing essence of the neglected corridors of a pulsing city with pathos and poise.
About this Author
Tyriek Rashawn White is a writer, musician, and educator from Brooklyn, where he served at-risk and marginalized youth, artists, and scholars in the classroom. He is currently the media director of Lampblack Lit, a literary foundation which seeks to provide mutual aid and various resources to Black writers across the diaspora. He has received fellowships from Callaloo Writing Workshop and the New York State Writer's Institute, among other honors. He holds a degree in Creative Writing and Africana Studies from Pitzer College, and most recently earned an MFA from the University of Mississippi. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, WE ARE A HAUNTING (Astra House, 2023).
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