Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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February 2015 News & Features

Spotlight on AFROPUNK

To celebrate the release of The Lost Treasures of R&B — the latest in Nelson George’s acclaimed D Hunter mystery series — we’re pleased to bring you a spotlight on AFROPUNK, a cultural movement celebrating alternative black culture.

“Safe to Cry” by Nyaboke Nduati

In my mind I could hear the phone ringing, but my eyes were fixated on the first page of a chapter in my thesis that needed work. All I could think about was how sick I was of that thesis. It all seemed pointless. None of the contents of this two hundred–page document was going to change the world in the slightest way . . .

“The Girl Who Died Twice” by Sharyn Kolberg

They say she was buried alive. Rufina Cambaceres was a great beauty on the eve of her nineteenth birthday when a friend whispered in her ear a terrible secret: Rufina’s beloved fiancé was having an affair with Rufina’s own mother. Rufina collapsed to the floor. Three doctors declared her dead; they did not know her heart still beat, however slowly.

She was interred until a few days later, when workers heard her scream. When they unburied her there were scratches on her face and on the coffin lid from her attempts to escape. They were too late to save her. Her mother then had her laid above ground in a white marble mausoleum, her coffin behind a glass wall so that if the lid should ever rise again, everyone could see . . .