The Through by A. Rafael Johnson

Adjunct faculty member A. Rafael Johnson's first novel The Through has been selected as a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. 

In The Through, Adrian and her partner Ben navigate the strange and dangerous magic of Okahika, a black ghost town that exists somewhere between Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the other-world of flying slave ships and mothers back from the dead. This narrative interrogates blackness in the New South, including the ways in which it is haunted and revisited by the old. It also engages with love and trauma, exploring how we keep ourselves hidden and allow ourselves to know each other in our most intimate relationships. 

Johnson was also featured in the Pioneer Press, where he describes how events from the book were inspired by his own life experiences, and how everything changed overnight when he was announced a Minnesota Book Award finalist.

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