Detroit’s literary community is truly something to be proud of.
Just look at some of the works being published this year. From the next in a series of crime procedurals set in Detroit’s Mexicantown to musings on sexual agency and gender dynamics, Detroit-based writers are an eclectic and varied bunch. All of these books you see below were or will be released in 2019 by Detroit-area writers; all of whom bring a perspective that is unequivocally theirs and inspired by the city around them.
‘Lives Laid Away’ by Stephen Mack Jones
The second novel in Jones’ “August Snow” series follows the titular former Detroit police officer investigating yet another murder. This time, Snow is called into action when the body of a young Hispanic woman dressed as Queen Marie Antoinette is found in the Detroit River. The story follows Snow and his friend Elena as they investigate the disappearances and murders of several women in Mexicantown. Available now.
Detroit-native Marsalis’ next book, Holiday, tells the story of two teenage boys who fall madly in love at a historic black summer resort. Marsalis published his first novel, March of the Libertines, as a teenager and has continued to write stories since. Holiday will be available on March 22, 2019.
The Ferndale author that brought you Bird Box is releasing his next novel this April. Titled Inspection, it follows the story of two kids; a boy named J and a girl named K. Both kids have grown up only knowing the four walls of their respective schools, their teacher and their peers. It isn’t until J and K start to wonder if there’s more to their world than just their school that secrets begin spilling out.
“Inspection is a mad scientist’s tale,” Malerman said of his new book, “a story about nature erupting when you try to avoid it, and a gender equality anthem in the end.”
This collection of poems by Afro-Cuban poet and storyteller Jeni De La O tackles the subjects of sexual agency and gender dynamics as they relate to different political views through various generations. De La O, who lives in Detroit, organized Poems in the Park and founded Relato: Detroit. Available April 2019.
Julién Godman’s first book is a collection of four short stories that all deal with the theme of friends and friendship as it relates to memory and its natural malleability. Godman resides in Detroit and is a freelance writer and nonprofit and public relations professional. He is also the owner of Tonic and Juice™, an organic herbal tea brand. Pre-order his book at the link above or attend his book release party at Bank Suey in Hamtramck on April 20, 2019.
In this world, an organization known as the Ja’lal have kept their people safe from the dangers that lie within the forest beyond their border. This fantasy novella series centers on protagonist Dime, a former Ja’lal Intelligence agent, who has learned the truth about her world. A story in ten parts, Bell has already released the first three installments and plans to continue the story throughout 2019. Parts 1-3 available now.