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Nightcrawling: Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022 Hardcover – 7 Jun. 2022
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LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2022 - THE YOUNGEST EVER BOOKER NOMINEE
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'MOTTLEY ATTEMPTS TO DO FOR OAKLAND SOMETHING OF WHAT THE WIRE DID FOR BALTIMORE' THE TIMES
'A SOUL-SEARCHING PORTRAIT OF SURVIVAL AND HOPE' OPRAH WINFREY
When there is no choice, all you have left to do is walk.
Kiara Johnson does not know what it is to live as a normal seventeen-year-old. With her mother in a rehab facility and an older brother who devotes his time and money to a recording studio, she fends for herself - and for nine-year-old Trevor, whose own mother is prone to disappearing for days at a time. As the landlord of their apartment block threatens to raise their rent, Kiara finds herself walking the streets after dark, determined to survive in a world that refuses to protect her.
Then one night Kiara is picked up by two police officers, and the gruesome deal she is offered in exchange for her freedom lands her at the centre of a media storm. If she agrees to testify in a grand jury trial, she could help expose the sickening corruption of a police department. But honesty comes at a price - one that could leave her family vulnerable to their retaliation, and endanger everyone she loves.
Nightcrawling is an unforgettable novel about young people navigating the darkest corners of an adult world, told with a humanity that is at once agonising and utterly mesmerising.
'A MAGNIFICENT DEBUT' RUTH OZEKI, winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022
READERS CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF NIGHTCRAWLING
'Nightcrawling is a lyrical masterpiece' *****
'This book ripped my heart out' *****
'Unputdownable . . . From the first page I was hooked' *****
'This is a heart-achingly necessary book which will carve a hole in your soul and stay with you forever' *****
'It is rare to read a first novel so perfectly crafted' *****
'This is an absolute must-read. Five stars out of five' *****
'Completely gripping . . . This is going to be a huge bestseller' *****
A rare and compelling meditation on the powerless . . . Not only a fearless investigation of justice, guilt and prejudice, but an allegory of the potential power of speech, narrative and fiction itself . . . Nightcrawling marks the dazzling arrival of a young writer with a voice and vision you won't easily get out of your head ― Guardian
She whips through the plot, packing poetic punch after punch . . . Now that Mottley has found her own voice, America - and readers in the UK - will be watching ― i paper
Both a searing depiction of sexual exploitation and a gripping account of a struggle for survival. Grimly captivating . Rich and inventive ― Economist
An uncommonly assured debut. . . Nightcrawling is written with a poet's ear and a novelist's sense of character, structure and ambience ― Observer
Mottley's fluid, instinctive writing soars . . . This feels like a remarkable debut, one that holds an illuminating if unflattering mirror to modern America. It is exciting to wonder what might lie ahead for this writer ― Sunday Times
Kiara is as virtuous and put-upon as any heroine in Dickens. But she is always a lively presence on the page even at her most downtrodden, thanks to her expressive narrative voice . the risks she takes generally pay off so well that one finishes the book grumbling: nobody who has just turned twenty has any business writing this well ― Sunday Telegraph
Leila Mottley has a poet's delicate touch when she tells us the most brutal, heart-crushing truths. This is an electrifying debut-- Dave Eggers
This book proves its author is a literary star in the making ― Elle
Unflinching, poetic and deeply resonant, this stunning debut from Oakland teen Leila Mottley marks the arrival of an extraordinary new voice ― Woman's Own
With its powerful poetry and courageous, unsparing vision, Nightcrawling is more than just a magnificent debut novel. It is a bid, by this prodigiously gifted young writer, to heal a broken world -- Ruth Ozeki, Women's Prize-winning author of THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS
The writing in Leila Mottley's Nightcrawling erupts and flows like lava, makes hot bright an Oakland that runs the city's uncontrollable brilliance, its destructive and generative veins the same, Mottley's energetic writing here too, bursts at the seams of every page, pushing you deeper into a story you can't help but continue swallowing, stay thirsty for, while it swallows you whole -- Tommy Orange, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Leila Mottley has an extraordinary gift. She writes with the humility and sparkle of a child, but with the skill and deft touch of a wizened, seasoned storyteller -- James McBride
Leila Mottley's commanding debut, inspired by the life events of one woman's struggle for body and soul against crushing exploitation, is fierce and devastating, rendered with electrifying urgency by this colossal young talent -- Ayana Mathis
Nightcrawling is a scorching, incredibly readable book that takes seriously the task of readerly provocation on every page. Get ready. Or don't. It doesn't matter. Leila Mottley is here -- Kiese Laymon, author of HEAVY
A blistering exploration of power ― Stylist Loves
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Circus (7 Jun. 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1526634562
- ISBN-13 : 978-1526634566
- Dimensions : 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 June 2022
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After a drunken encounter with a man who mistakes her for a prostitute and hands her 200 dollars Kiara decides that the streets is one place she can make steady money. While plying her new found trade she is stopped by rogue policemen ,the beginning of systematic exploitation by local "law officers".
Shockingly this is based on a true story,amazingly it's Leila Mottley's first novel,one that she started at the age of 17. For such a young author the book shows an amazing level of maturity and insight into human nature.
Kiara is quite an amazing young woman trying to do her best for everyone while they continually let her down. The book shows the tawdriness of her life on the streets without being overly explicit. It does almost drift into a catalogue of misery but Kiara never gives up hope,she comes close but while her spirit is bent almost to breaking point she keeps going against the odds.
This isn't a book that will brighten your day,it seems life is against Kiara,something she really doesn't deserve. Everyone seems to let her down but ultimately it's uplifting...........and not in the way most readers will be expecting..
An exceptional book from an exceptional young author.
The novel uses the actual events of a shocking 2015 sex scandal which saw multiple members of the Oakland Police Department charged with offences including statutory rape in a wide-ranging sexual abuse investigation, although the character of Klara is fictional. The prose is incredibly poetic and as someone who appreciates coherence and clarity in writing I found everything a little too ambiguous. There are moments throughout when the prose dazzles but there are also digressions aplenty, often when I felt the narrative could have done with moving forward and upping the tension as opposed to meandering. Although I found the style and particularly the dialogue required perseverance to engage with, I always wanted to find out how Kiara’s story would end, perhaps because of its real life origins, and this kept me invested.
For all its bleakness, Nightcrawling is not a depressing read and it is shot through with moments of joy and the small pleasures that come with being among those you love and simply surviving when life throws so many obstacles your way. Despite not feeling that Mottley made the most of the implicit tension in a plot which could, and should, have made for a more propulsive read, I did warm to Kiara and ultimately the novel is a powerful testimony to resilience. On a wider level it is also a commentary on the intersecting social injustices of racism, poverty and misogyny and a pertinent reminder of why so many of those from marginalised communities fall between the cracks.