The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope.
In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and Biracial “Muleseeds” are bred. Raised in captivity on Planting 437, kitchen-seed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule knows there is only one way to escape. She must enter the annual Freedom Race as a runner.Ji-ji and her friends must exhume a survival story rooted in the collective memory of a kidnapped people and conjure the voices of the dead to light their way home.
“Gut-wrenching read…. This powerful, riveting novel provides a glimpse into a nightmarish future that’s all too similar to our past.”—Buzzfeed
“Every now and then a work comes along that makes you wonder whether you are reading or dreaming. And you’re not sure it matters which.”—Nikki Giovanni
“Roy’s comprehensive worldbuilding and immersive language creates a tapestry…. Ji-ji’s journey is a story of resilience and hope rooted in a place where Octavia Butler and Rivers Solomon intersect with The Handmaid’s Tale.”—Booklist
“You ever have the feeling that if you don’t read something, you may be missing out on something momentous happening? . . . I got that vibe from the first page of The Freedom Race. It has a prescience about it in the tradition of Octavia Butler. . . . If ‘resilience’ was a book, it would be The Freedom Race.”—Maurice Broaddus, author of Buffalo Soldier
“The future Lucinda Roy calls up in The Freedom Race is a fierce, unsettling riff on our past and present. Instead of watching democracy evaporate and justice fail, Ms. Roy challenges us all to get over ourselves and join the race for freedom.”—Andrea Hairston, author of Will Do Magic for Small Change
“American magic-realism meets the outcome of the Second U.S. Civil War in a well-told, but brutally jolting, strangely prescient, and soul-haunting narrative.”—L. E. Modesitt, Jr., bestselling author of the Saga of Recluce series