The award-winning story collection Insurrections is set in imaginary Cross River, Maryland, populated by descendants of a successful slave revolt. Author Rion Amilcar Scott handles the omnipresent shroud of history deftly. Each story — about a former world champion “slapfighter”; about a terrible haircut experience; about a man who undergoes “reverse evolution” — casts oblique light on past indignities that haven’t ever quite passed. His collection of tales are simultaneously heavy and surprisingly light, often whimsical. Each story works individually; as a collection, Insurrections is dazzlingly convincing. This is profound, pleasurable work. This is why we read fiction.

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