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. 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. Telling Stories and Telling Histories: Wayétu Moore’s “She Would Be King”
By LARB AV – January 4, 2019
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.