by Leila Mottley
A NEW YORK TIMES WRITER TO WATCH • A dazzling novel about a young Black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system—the debut of a blazingly original voice that “bursts at the seams of every page and swallows you whole” (Tommy Orange, best-selling author of There There)
Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison.
But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent—which has more than doubled—and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed. One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.
Rich with raw beauty, electrifying intensity, and piercing vulnerability, Nightcrawling marks the stunning arrival of a voice unlike any we have heard before.
Hardcover | 288 pages | Penguin Random House | 2022
In stock (can be backordered)