Wayétu Moore speaks with host Eric Newman about her debut novel She Would Be King, which interweaves history with magical realism to re-tell Liberia’s founding in the 19th century. The allegorical tale revolves around three characters: an immortal woman Vai, exiled from her indigenous community; an African-American man June Dey, who possesses super-human strength; and Norman Aragon, a half-white man from Jamaica, with the magical power to vanish. As the three stories merge, Liberia is born. Wayétu tells Eric about her family’s history in Liberia, their move to America when Wayétu was five years old during a civil war, her subsequent relationship to Liberia, and what motivated her to write its foundation myth in such a beautiful and mystical form.
Telling Stories and Telling Histories: Wayétu Moore’s “She Would Be King”
By LARB AV - January 4, 2019