Into the Go-Slow



A young black woman visits Africa on a quest for peace, meaning, and love in "a beautiful allegory at the heart of a realist novel" (Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas).

In 1986 Detroit, twenty-one-year-old Angie is still mourning the death of her brilliant, radical sister, Ella, when she impulsively decides to pack up and go to the place where Ella tragically died four years before: Nigeria. There, Angie retraces her sister's steps, all the while navigating the chaotic landscape of a major African country on the brink of democracy and careening toward a coup d' tat.

At the center of her quest is a love affair that upends everything Angie thought she knew about herself. Against a backdrop of Nigeria's infamous "go-slow"--traffic as wild and unpredictable as the country itself--Angie begins to unravel the mysteries of the past, and opens herself up to love and life after Ella.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Feminist Press
Publish Date
September 09, 2014
5.5 X 0.9 X 7.9 inches | 0.7 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Bridgett M. Davis is the author of the memoir The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life In The Detroit Numbers, as well as the two novels Into the Go-Slow and Shifting Through Neutral, which was shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Award. She is writer/director of the award-winning feature film Naked Acts, and a creative writing and journalism professor at Baruch College - City University of New York, where she is director of the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, The Millions, Salon, LitHub, Real Simple, and O, The Oprah Magazine. A graduate of Spelman College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, she lives in Brooklyn with her family.


"Davis explores the ambivalent, often troubling experiences of African-Americans in Africa through the lens of a young woman who, having grown up during the civil rights upheavals of the 1960s and '70s, struggles to find her place in the world during the less idealistic '80s... The difficult intellectual questions Davis raises about personal identity and an African-American's relation to contemporary Africa are particularly resonant." --Kirkus

"The novel's galloping, and-then-this-happened rhythm lets the reader share in Angie's sense of wide-eyed surprise as she shadows Ella's own itinerary. Into the Go-Slow has a familiar coming-of-age arc, but Davis writes with admirable ferocity about the ways that place and identity intersect." --Belt Mag

"Get into this tale of loss and understanding, and enjoy." --Ebony

"Succeeds at holding up art as a gateway to cross-border connection among blacks, a jumping off point from which we can have painful conversations and learn from each other to move forward as collaborators, in the truest sense of the word, as we have always been. For all of its politics, Into the Go-Slow is also about grief, healing, and refusing nostalgia, in the way that good novels are always about more than one thing." --New Black Man

"Showcases a stunning spectrum of the human experience... Into the Go-Slow is a work that spans across continents, cultures, and time yet the author's smooth execution makes for a compelling and succinct read." --Bookslut

"Davis' coming of age narrative offers a needed contribution to the collection of stories that discuss the challenges of finding oneself amid all those who are already present." --Full Stop

"Davis' novel is as much an African story as it is an American story... In Davis' work, Africa is not this abstract idea. Her Lagos, her Kano bristles with abundant life, around which she weaves a lovely story about those small but lasting redemptions that only a sister's love can bring."
--Brittle Paper

"Into the Go-Slow tells the story of a place, a family, and a time through the worlds of a woman as she moves from grief to healing. Bridgett M. Davis writes with passion, precision, and a wide-open heart." --Linda Villarosa, author of Passing for Black

"At its core, Into the Go-Slow is a love story--romantic love, love of family, love of culture, love of self. This novel shows how we live when we dare to face our fear and lay bare our hurts. Angie is an unforgettable heroine who will steal your heart and break it, too. Bridgett M. Davis is a brilliant writer, a soulful artist, and a true citizen of the world." --Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow

"Into the Go-Slow spans continents and years, and traces the lives of sisters linked by loss and discovery. Bridgett Davis vividly renders the troubled, idealistic 1970s and the what's-left-to-dream-about 1980s, offering a powerful narrative driven by the all-too-human bafflement about how to resolve what could have been with what is." --Farai Chideya, host of One with Farai

"Into the Go-Slow is an exquisitely executed journey enriched by the depth and complexity of the characters, the detailed specificity of the varied communities of Nigeria, and, above all, the poignant rendering of the yearning heart of the one who was left behind. Just beautiful." --Wilhelmina Jenkins, moderator for the literary fiction by people of color group on Goodreads