Tananarive Due is undoubtedly a reader favorite, especially in the science fiction thriller genre. Due has created a universe of constantly evolving characters whose stories, with their fantastical twists and turns, leave readers breathless, completely immersed, and craving for more. This fall, Washington Square Press is pleased to announce the publication of the eagerly anticipated MY SOUL TO TAKE (September 6, 2011; 978-1439176146; $13.00; Trade Paperback), the latest novel from Tananarive Due’s award-winning “African Immortals Series”.
For the first time, the immortal characters who readers have come to know throughout the series – Fana, Dawit, Mahmoud, and Michel – come face to face with retired R&B mega-star Phoenix Smalls and her husband, Carlos Harris, beloved characters from Due’s bestselling novel Joplin’s Ghost. Together, the characters confront the realities of love and hate, war and peace, and the living and the dead. The result is a Tananarive Due-style supernatural literary joy ride which readers have come to expect from a writer who has helped lead the way for a new generation of African American science fiction writers and fans.
It all began more than a decade ago with My Soul to Keep when readers were introduced to Jessica, then a Miami investigative reporter, and her “perfect” husband, David. Her life unravels when she realizes that her husband, David, is actually Dawit, an immortal who, along with a sect of Ethiopian scholars, traded their souls for eternal life over 400 years before. The sequel, The Living Blood, brings forth the birth of Dawit and Jessica’s daughter, Fana, who was born with the “living blood” in her veins. As a mere toddler, Fana is able to kill and penetrate others’ thoughts, with her mind as the remote control. Her mother begins a quest to teach Fana how to control these potentially dangerous powers, which leads them to Ethiopia in search of the immortal Life Brothers’ hidden colony.
In 2008’s Blood Colony, the story continues as the world struggles to contain the HIV/AIDS epidemic that threatens to destroy humankind. The new drug, GLOW, which is derived from the Blood of immortals, has the ability to heal almost any illness. Yet, it is distributed via an illegal underground railroad of drug dealers. At the helm is Fana Wolde, now 17 years old and the only immortal born with “the Blood.” She wants to heal using the Blood, but there is a treacherous, violent group with ties to the Vatican that have begun to murder GLOW peddlers. Fana’s life is in constant danger, but she remains dedicated to the mission of healing the sick.
MY SOUL TO TAKE opens with a world in turmoil. A plague has killed hundreds of thousands around the world and threatens to raise the death toll to an unimaginable height. Michel, whose refusal to give up on making 18-year-old Fana his wife despite her reluctance and possible love for another man, has plans to perform a major “cleansing” of the population which would leave millions dead. Michel’s mission goes against everything Fana believes in – healing and helping. She uses her powers, resources and considerable influence to help the sick by providing access to GLOW. Fana enlists Phoenix Smalls, a major international R&B recording artist, to come out of retirement to perform before an audience of sick people. One of Fana’s significant powers is to heal just with her presence and touch.
There was one problem with Fana’s concert: Michel’s furor over her defiance. Not only had she not come to him to wed, she hosted a healing event which directly clashed with the cleansing he was determined to do. Fana is faced with a dilemma: leave her life, family and the man she loves behind to go to Michel, the only other who was born with “the Blood,” with the hope of convincing him to change his mind or Michel covers the earth with a plague that would achieve depopulation, the ultimate Armagedden. Fana’s emotional lover John Wright, who is one of her most devoted soldiers, races against the clock to stop the wedding and banish Michel from the earth. However, John is the David to Michel’s Goliath; John is a mortal and Michel is immortal.
MY SOUL TO TAKE also tugs the reader between good and evil, right and wrong. While you root for the good work for which Fana and John risk their lives and that the love they share for one another somehow survives, you also hope as the pages turn that Fana goes to Michel, accepts his love and by doing so, saves the world.
My Soul To Take is in bookstores everywhere. You can also order it on Amazon, HERE!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tananarive Due is the American Book Award-winning author of nine books, ranging from supernatural thrillers to a mystery to a civil rights memoir. Her novel, Blood Colony (June 2008), was the long-awaited sequel to her 2001 thriller The Living Blood and 1997’s My Soul to Keep, a reader favorite that Stephen King said “bears favorable comparison to Interview with the Vampire.” Blood Colony continues the saga of African immortals with healing blood. Due’s novel Joplin’s Ghost blends the supernatural, history and the present-day music scene as a rising R&B singer’s life is changed forever by encounters with the ghost of Ragtime King Scott Joplin.
The Good House, co-authored with her husband Steven Barnes, was nominated as Best Novel by the International Horror Guild. The Black Rose, based on the life of business pioneer Madam C.J. Walker, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. My Soul to Keep and The Good House are both in film development at Fox Searchlight.
In the summer of 2007, Due and Barnes published their first mystery, Casanegra: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel, which they wrote in collaboration with actor Blair Underwood. Publishers Weekly called Casanegra “seamlessly entertaining.” The NAACP Image Award winning series continued with In the Night of the Heat and From Cape Town with Love.
Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, which Due co-authored with her mother, civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due, was named 2003’s Best Civil Rights Memoir by Black Issues Book Review. (Patricia Stephens Due took part in the nation’s first “Jail-In” in 1960, spending 49 days in jail in Tallahassee, Florida, after a sit-in at a Woolworth lunch counter).