I have been following Jael Richardson on Twitter for long, and I’m also on her mailing list as she runs the Festival Of Literary Diversity, FOLD, and I was so thrilled to learn she is publishing her first novel. Titled Gutter Child, I went on to order this book on Amazon, and have already begun to read it although I’m not going as fast with it as I might have wanted.
Its major theme is race in a dystopian era, where the country—possibly the US or Canada—is divided into two, the Mainland for the over-privileged majority and the Gutter, for the oppressed minority. We follow our M/C Elimina Dubois, a fourteen-year-old child of the Gutter as she enters into a school on the Mainland, and the earliest vibe I got is that it might be brutal for her there.
The book is certainly promising to be a thought provoking read, but what got me into buying it at first is that it’s from a diverse author, one who literally has been left, right and center of the Canadian publishing scene fighting for diverse voices to be heard. For all this brief is worth though, I haven’t gone too far into the story for me to be able to say how great or how bad the book is but I guess we will see.