Courttia Newland

Cindy Seip

Courttia Newland is the author of seven novels, including The Gospel According to Cane and The Scholar. He has won the Roland Rees Bursary for playwriting, and also has co-written two episodes of the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe. In A River Called Time: A Novel (Akashic Books), a massive structure known as the Ark dominates the city center of Dinium – an alternative London – that promised a utopian existence. But although it was built to save the lives of the many, it rapidly became a refuge for the elite. Years after it was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within is granted to a select few who can prove their worth, Markriss Denny among them. He can project himself astrally: When his spirit leaves his body, it allows him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations. But once inside the Ark, he learns that someone else has the same power, and his existence could be catastrophic for humanity. While in a desperate race to understand his abilities, Denny uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself, and the people he once thought he knew. The story, said Kirkus, “is an ambitiously imagined book that, by removing the European lens on African cultures, creates a new reality that allows us to question how we view our own.”