This Thing Called the Future (Paperback)

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Description


Best Fiction for Young Adults, American Librarians Association

Best Young Adult Book Award, Texas Institute of Letters

Best Teen Books, Kirkus

Khosi lives with her beloved grandmother Gogo, her little sister Zi, and her weekend mother in a matchbox house on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. In that shantytown, it seems like somebody is dying all the time. Billboards everywhere warn of the disease of the day. Her Gogo goes to a traditional healer when there is trouble, but her mother, who works in another city and is wasting away before their eyes, refuses even to go to the doctor. She is afraid and Khosi doesn't know what it is that makes the blood come up from her choking lungs. Witchcraft? A curse? AIDS? Can Khosi take her to the doctor? Gogo asks. No, says Mama, Khosi must stay in school. Only education will save Khosi and Zi from the poverty and ignorance of the old Zulu ways.

School, though, is not bad. There is a boy her own age there, Little Man Ncobo, and she loves the color of his skin, so much darker than her own, and his blue-black lips, but he mocks her when a witch's curse, her mother's wasting sorrow, and a neighbor's accusations send her and Gogo scrambling off to the sangoma's hut in search of a healing potion.

J.L. Powers holds an MA in African history from State University of New York-Albany and Stanford University. She won a Fulbright-Hays grant to study Zulu in South Africa, and served as a visiting scholar in Stanford's African Studies Department. She is the award-winning author of four young adult novels, The Confessional, This Thing Called the Future, Under Water, and Amina. She is also the editor of two collections of essays and author of a picture book, Colors of the Wind. She is the Editorial and Foreign Rights Director of Cinco Puntos Press, and is founder and editor of the online blog, The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children's Literature. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Skyline College in California's Bay Area and served as a jurist for the 2014 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. She launched Catalyst Press in 2017 to publish African writers. She can be found at www.jlpowers.net, www.powerssquared.com, and www.catalystpress.org.

About the Author


J.L. Powers is the award-winning author of four young adult novels, The Confessional, This Thing Called the Future, Under Water, and Amina. She is also the editor of two collections of essays and author of a picture book, Colors of the Wind. She is the Editorial and Foreign Rights Director of Cinco Puntos Press, and is founder and editor of the online blog, The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children's Literature. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Skyline College in California's Bay Area and served as a jurist for the 2014 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. She launched Catalyst Press in 2017 to publish African writers. She can be found at www.jlpowers.net, www.powerssquared.com, and www.catalystpress.org.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781947627109
ISBN-10: 1947627104
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Publication Date: September 20th, 2020
Pages: 208
Language: English