Janelle Monáe and Collaborating Writer Alaya Dawn Johnson
In Conversation with Kimberly Drew
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From groundbreaking musician, actor, fashion icon and futurist Janelle Monáe and an outstanding group of collaborators comes The Memory Librarian, a collection of short fiction, bringing to the written page the rebellious and Afrofuturistic world of Monáe’s critically acclaimed album Dirty Computer.
Janelle Monáe, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, Eve L. Ewing, Yohanca Delgado, and Sheree Renée Thomas have delivered a sexy, soulful, and dissident collection of tales that expands the bold vision of Dirty Computer, in which Monáe introduced us to a world where people’s memories—a key to self-expression and self-understanding—could be controlled or erased by an increasingly powerful few. And whether human, A.I., or something in-between, citizens’ lives and sentience were dictated by those of the New Dawn, who had convinced themselves they had the right to decide fate—that was, until Jane 57821 remembered and broke free.
Grown from the soil of that mythos, the stories in The Memory Librarian explore the lives of those living in the heart and at the edges of a growing surveillance-hungry, totalitarian order—striving to see and hold on to their “dirtiness” without being tracked down and cleaned. It is filled with the artistic innovation and brave themes that have made Monáe a global influence; an anthology that sees our battles about gender identity, political violence, and sexuality as matters of space, time, love, and, of course, the power of memory. In conversation with Kimberly Drew, a writer, art curator, activist, and author of This Is What I Know About Art.
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