Named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly & BuzzFeed.
“Reading Wayétu Moore’s debut novel, She Would Be King, feels a lot like watching a superb athlete’s performance. . . . Moore makes deft use of magical realism, and her plot and its details are compelling. . . . Like her remarkable protagonist Gbessa, the author has tapped into her own backstory–and emerged with literary superpowers.”―TIME
“This compelling debut novel by Wayétu Moore blends historical fiction with magical realism in an exhilarating tale of the formation of Liberia. Moore effortlessly weaves the threads of indigenous West African tribes, American and Caribbean slavery, and British colonialism together to tell the creation story of a new nation, complete with unforgettable characters and a dynamic voice.”―Marie Claire
“Fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be intrigued by this debut novel, a reimagining of Liberia’s infancy in the 19th century.”―Harper’s Bazaar
“Moore’s insightful, emotional descriptions graft these stories right onto readers’ hearts .”―BookPage
“The dialog is fluid and poetic, allowing readers to imagine the events, sights, smells, feelings, and sensations. As with Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, this work will appeal to lovers of African, African American, and literary fiction.”―Library Journal, starred review
“Moore uses an accomplished, penetrating style―with clever swerves into fantasy―to build effective critiques of tribal misogyny, colonial abuse, and racism.”―Publishers Weekly
“An ambitious, genre-hopping, continent-spanning novel. . . . Moore is a brisk and skilled storyteller who weaves her protagonists' disparate stories together with aplomb yet is also able to render her sprawling cast of characters in ways that feel psychologically compelling. In addition, the novel's various settings―Virginia, Jamaica, and West Africa―are depicted so lushly that readers will find themselves enchanted.”―Kirkus Reviews