Creatures of Passage
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About the Author
MOROWA YEJIDÉ, a native of Washington, DC, is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Time of the Locust, which was a 2012 finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize, long-listed for the 2015 PEN/Bingham Prize, and a 2015 NAACP Image Award nominee; and Creatures of Passage, which was short-listed for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, long-listed for the Women's Prize for Fiction, and was a 2021 Notable Book selection by NPR and the Washington Post. She lives in the DC area with her husband and three sons.
One of the Washington Post's 50 Notable Fiction Books of 2021!
"Yejidé's surreal new novel has no shortage of otherworldly surprises, but it's her this-worldly protagonist who steals the show . . . Informed by a richly woven mythology and propelled by themes of regret and revenge, Creatures of Passage has earned some apt comparisons to Toni Morrison's Beloved."
--Philadelphia Inquirer, One of the Best Books of Winter 2021
"Written over the course of 17 years, Morowa Yejidé's new book, Creatures of Passage, is set in Anacostia in 1977 and follows twins--one living, one dead--who share names with the Egyptian gods Nephthys and Osiris. But that barely hints at the richness and complexity of the book's many strands." --Washingtonian
"Hauntingly magical, this sophomore novel by Morowa Yejidé centers a young woman dealing with the loss of her brother, her young great-nephew who mysteriously shows up at her door and Washington, DC, the city that provides an otherworldly backdrop to this imaginative thriller."
--Ms., A Most Anticipated Book of 2021
"[A] deeper, broader, and more audacious immersion in magical realism . . . Historic detail and mythic folklore forge a scary, thrilling vision of life along America's margins." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Skillfully blending fantasy and stark reality while blurring the line between the metaphoric and the tangible, Yejidé successfully tells the story in fits and starts as each major character adds a piece to the puzzle . . . Highly recommended." --Library Journal, starred review
"Yejidé creates a tapestry of interconnected stories of guilt, loss, love, grief, justice, and restoration . . . Yejidé's prose is often stunning . . . [T]he story's rich texture evokes the ghost stories of Toni Morrison."
"Fatal racism, police violence, pedophilia, family dysfunction--all the horrific ills of contemporary society wreak destruction, but somehow humanity survives." --Booklist
"Morowa Yejidé's Creatures of Passage gives readers a chance to experience grief and intergenerational trauma in a unique way." --The Root
"This enthralling, otherworldly story follows Nephthys Kinwell, a taxi driver in Washington, DC, as she grapples with grief." --Woman's World
"Comparisons to Toni Morrison's masterpiece Beloved always perk up our ears, but in the case of Morowa Yejidé's Creatures of Passage the hype is warranted . . . History-haunted in the best sense, readers shouldn't miss this mythic thriller." --Chicago Review of Books, One of 12 Must-Read Books for March 2021
"Set in the 1970s, the book includes elements of magical realism and fantasy, but it paints an all-too-real picture of a divided city." --Roll Call
"Mesmerizing . . . This contemporary fairy tale's grandeur and psychedelic wonderment undergird a serious warning, urging readers to make sense of the story's message of family, justice, trauma and healing and to find a way toward a saner future." --BookPage
"A novel written by DC-raised Morowa Yejidé titled Creatures of Passage is a ghost story that also talks about the generational traumas experienced by Black Americans in DC." --Greater Greater Washington