Everfair: A Novel
Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.
Nisi Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.
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EverfairUser Review - Book Verdict
In the late 19th century, the African colony of the Congo was Belgium's stronghold on the continent—one ruled with a cruel grip as native peoples were tortured and enslaved to produce the rubber ... Read full review
EverfairUser Review - Publishers Weekly
In this deeply compelling debut novel, Shawl, who’s well known for her short fiction (Filter House) and teaching (Writing the Other, with Cynthia Ward), takes readers to an alternate Earth where the ... Read full review