We’re finishing out Season 5 strong with this discussion of Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen. Simidele has been transformed into a Mami Wata (aka mer-person) by the orisa Yemoja, tasked with gathering souls of Africans who fall, jump, or are thrown into the sea from enslavers’ ships. Chaos ensues when Simidele strays from the brief and rescues Adekola (or Kola for short) from drowning. There’s a quest, a trickster figure, cool side characters, and the book is bursting with magic inspired by various African folklores, mythologies, and cultures.
We both loved this book, from the unique premise and character development to the expansive world building that completely immersed us (no water pun intended! #shocking for k, lol).
Content Warning (from the front matter of the book itself! we love to see it!): “Skin of the Sea blends fifteenth-century history with fantasy, and there are depictions of violence, enslavement, death, and suicide.”
Whether you’re new to the show or a long-time listener, thank you for joining us! We’re taking a break for now (length TBD), so be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts… just in case there are any surprise drops on the feed 😉
- Recommend if you like…
- Children of Blood and Bone series by Tomi Adeyemi
- Black Panther comics and films
- [for the littles] Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah Jones and Renée Watson. Illustrated by Nikkolas Smith.
- The Little Mermaid slash mermaids in general
- The Deep a novella by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Huston, and Johnathan Snipes
- “Venus in Two Acts” by Saidiya Hartman (free article PDF)
- “Mathematics in Black Life” by Katherine McKittrick (free article PDF)
- The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel
- the mer-mazing docuseries that kelly mentions is Merpeople (on Netflix)
As always, we’d love to be in discussion with you, magical people. Reach out to us on Instagram (@thelibrarycoven) or via email (email@example.com).
Access complete show notes on our website, thelibrarycoven.com.
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We support #LandBack. The Library Coven is recorded and produced on stolen indigenous land: Arapahoe, Cheyenne, and Ute (kelly) and Chickasha, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Mascoutin, Miami, Mesquaki, Odawa, Ojibwe, Peankashaw, Peoria, Potawatomi, Sauk, and Wea (Jessie)