by N. K. Jemisin
Congratulations to N. K. Jemisin for being named one of this year’s MacArthur “geniuses!” The MacArthur Foundation describes her as “a speculative fiction writer exploring deeply human questions about structural racism, environmental crises, and familial relationships while immersing readers in intricately imagined, fantastical worlds.” She is most widely known for her award-winning Broken Earth Trilogy, which begins with The Fifth Season. The City We Became is the first book in a new series called Great Cities. In this novel, New York City is both the setting and a sentient being. As the primary avatar of the city lies in a coma, five people develop mysterious new powers as they each become an avatar for one of the City's five boroughs. Although clearly a fantasy, the book draws on actual recent events in New York.