Trouble the Saints

D.C.-born writer Alaya Dawn Johnson wins the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

(author photo by Armando Vega)

Beating out big book names like Piranesi by Susanna Clark and The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Trouble the Saints (Tor, 2021) emerges victorious. Already a Nebula Award winner and a National Book Award nominee, Alaya Dawn Johnson proudly continues on her writing career with her imaginative novel.

Here’s what her publisher says:

The dangerous magic of The Night Circus meets the powerful historical exploration of The Underground Railroad in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s timely and unsettling novel, set against the darkly glamorous backdrop of New York City, where an assassin falls in love and tries to change her fate at the dawn of World War II. Amid the whir of city life, a young woman from Harlem is drawn into the glittering underworld of Manhattan, where she’s hired to use her knives to strike fear among its most dangerous denizens.

Ten years later, Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything—not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams. Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side—and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late—is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

Trouble the Saints is a dazzling, daring novel—a magical love story, a compelling exposure of racial fault lines—and an altogether brilliant and deeply American saga.


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