Novelist reveals horrors of the justice system through dystopian fiction
There’s a song that the author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah wrote that tells you – you are in for something different.
The song’s called Nabakov. It’s on his website. There you’ll find other ways he expresses himself. Like his photography — including a collection from a pilgrimage to Ghana, where his late father was born.
And of course, you’ll find information about his books.
Adjei-Brenyah is the author Chain-Gang All-Stars. It’s a novel set in a dystopian future that feels dangerously close. In his book, people who’ve been condemned to life sentences can choose to fight death-matches for their freedom. Meanwhile, America pays to watch it on TV.
It’s a commentary on the evils of our prison system. But it’s also an inverted image of what he thinks our world can be. A criminal justice system that isn’t an oxymoron.
“There is a world where love is the rule,” he writes. “That world has no room for caged humans.”
He didn’t always think this way. It took a journey to think of himself as an abolitionist.
On the May 15 episode of Sundial, Adjei-Brenyah joined us to talk about his book and what it took to get there.
On Sundial's previous episode, Julia Longoria, the host and managing editor of the podcast “More Perfect” from WNYC. The series is about “how the Supreme Court got so supreme.” She got her start in radio at her hometown public radio station — WLRN.
Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.
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