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Wayétu Moore

Biography

Wayétu Moore

Wayétu Moore is the author of the novel SHE WOULD BE KING and the memoir THE DRAGONS, THE GIANT, THE WOMEN. She is the recipient of the 2019 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction.

SHE WOULD BE KING was named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly & BuzzFeed. The novel was a Sarah Jessica Parker Book Club selection, a BEA Buzz Panel Book, a #1 Indie Next Pick and a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Award.

Moore is the founder of One Moore Book, a non-profit organization that creates and distributes culturally relevant books for underrepresented readers. Her first bookstore opened in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2015. Her writing can be found in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Guernica, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications. She has been featured in The Economist Magazine, NPR and Vogue Magazine, among others, for her work in advocacy for diverse children’s literature.

She’s a graduate of Howard University, University of Southern California and Columbia University.

Wayétu Moore

Books by Wayétu Moore

by Wayétu Moore - Memoir, Nonfiction

When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, while her mother works and studies in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States. THE DRAGONS, THE GIANT, THE WOMEN recounts this harrowing journey in Moore’s early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia.

by Wayétu Moore - Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Wayétu Moore’s debut novel reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.