Grievers (Black Dawn #1) by adrienne maree brown
From AK Press:
This first volume of brown’s Grievers tales also launches AK Press’s new speculative fiction series Black Dawn, in which authors create alternate realities through visionary works that imagine different ways of seeing, being in, and remaking the world.
A tale of what happens when we can no longer ignore what has been lost in this world.
Grievers is the story of a city so plagued by grief that it can no longer function. Dune’s mother is patient zero of a mysterious illness that stops people in their tracks—in mid-sentence, mid-action, mid-life—casting them into a nonresponsive state from which no one recovers. Dune must navigate poverty and the loss of her mother as Detroit’s hospitals, morgues, and graveyards begin to overflow. As the quarantined city slowly empties of life, she investigates what caused the plague, and what might end it. In anguish, she follows in the footsteps of her late researcher father, who has a physical model of Detroit’s history and losses set up in their basement. She dusts the model off and begins tracking the sick and dying, discovering patterns, finding comrades in curiosity, conspiracies for the fertile ground of the city, and the unexpected magic that emerges when the debt of grief is cleared.
"Bestseller Brown (Pleasure Activism) makes her fiction debut with the powerful, emotional story of Dune, a young woman living in Detroit, Mich., in the midst of a bizarre epidemic ... The first novel in AK Press’s new Black Dawn series, which will focus on speculative fiction that expresses the values of antiracism, feminism, anticolonialism, and anticapitalism, this hits the nail on the head with its deep, moving exploration of loss, family, community, gentrification, and rapidly changing urban landscapes. It’s a strong precedent that will leave readers eager for more."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)