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Last year, the South African science fiction writer, Lauren Beukes, challenged what we thought we knew about serial killers and crime fiction. But most of all, she challenged our assumptions about what constitutes an African novel. Shinning Girls is set in Chicago and features American characters. Of course, the novel has Africa written all over it. Try explaining the House, and you’ll see what I mean. Why do you think the unresolved mystery of the House caused western book critics so much grief?

The official synopsis for her next novel titled, Broken Monsters, is out. The story, set in Detroit, features human and animal bodies dissected and reassembled into monstrous shapes. If you’ve read novels by the Nigerian fantasist, Amos Tutuola, you’d see why Beukes is his bona fide literary daughter.

LaurenBeukesbyCaseyCrafford2

(c) Casey Crafford

A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes’s new genre-bending novel of suspense.

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit’s standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?

If you’re Detective Versado’s geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you’re desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you’re Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you’ll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe—and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.

If Lauren Beukes’s internationally bestselling The Shining Girls was a time-jumping thrill ride through the past, herBroken Monsters is a genre-redefining thriller about broken cities, broken dreams, and broken people trying to put themselves back together again.

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Image of author via BooksLive

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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