The Silence of the Wilting Skin
From an exciting new voice in speculative fiction, Tlotlo Tsamaase weaves together a story of identity and family, of love and loss, and the dead.
In an African city, a nameless young woman living in the wards slowly begins to lose her identity: her skin color is peeling off, people are becoming invisible, and the city plans to destroy the train where they bury their dead.
In the wards the dreamskin people walk the land to predict a citizen’s death. After the narrator is given a warning by her grandmother’s dreamskin, things begin to fall apart. Struggling to hold onto a fluctuating reality, she prescribes herself insomnia in a desperate attempt to save her family.
Cover design by Duncan Eagleson.
“A surrealist masterpiece.”— Lavie Tidhar, author of Osama
“Motswana author Tsamaase debuts with a lyrical and incisive allegory about personal identity and cultural loss set in an unnamed, phantasmagoric African city. Through magnetic prose, dream logic, and lush imagery, Tsamaase delivers a fierce political message. Suffused with both love and righteous anger, this atmospheric anticolonialist battle cry is a tour de force.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The story is told from the perspective of the nameless narrator in what seems like a dreamlike setting. It is full of beautiful, vivid and jarring imagery and the combination kept me entirely engrossed. The atmosphere and mood are psychologically intense. The language is poetic at times, raw at others. I recommend this book whether you are looking for a new perspective or one similar to your own.” --The Lesbian Review
“Tsamaase’s words feel like the touch of the dreamskin—painfully real and true. What does it mean to fight for what's important even as all you know and hold dear slips away? To fight for love in the face of erasure? This had me turning the pages in tense horror, but it also rings of hope. A rich and rewarding read.”— Julio Rios, Hugo Award winning editor + writer, narrator, and podcaster