In the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life, we meet Imajin (his friends and family call him Maji), a sixteen-year-old African-American boy from the Bronx who, during one fateful summer, finds his world crumbling down around him. During his last class of the school year, he feels overwhelmed by the news of a young Internet celebrity taking his life in Brooklyn and another of a pregnant black woman held at gunpoint by cops. This is the same day that his favorite teacher and role model announces that he’s leaving the school before Maji’s senior year. Couple this with him internally dealing with the destruction of his family — his mother suffering from depression and his father slowly pulling away from his home — and Maji decides to run.
Run from everything.
Run from everyone.
Building a small raft out of materials from his neighborhood, and with nothing but the Moby Dick book he stole from his teacher and a few printed maps, Maji sets sail down the Hudson River one night and out to the open sea hoping to find a miracle that would make his life special and worthwhile.
the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life is part coming-of-age story, part social commentary piece, part reimagining of a common classic — all aimed at a Young Adult audience. It’s bold and surreal, with elements of magical realism, but maintains a firm grasp on the issues we are facing in the here-and-now.
Green Writers Press senior editor Rose Alexandre-Leach notes, “the book combines everything that the current contemporary writers are creating in the realm of exposing young readers to race relations in America through amazing storytelling and characters with the grandeur and imagination of classical literature.”
About the Author
Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born multi-genre writer whose first two books in the Shades of Hell series, And Then There Were Crows and And Then There Were Dragons, were published by Black Spot Books. His short stories have appeared in the award-winning anthologies A Midnight Clear and Dead of Winter. He currently lives and teaches in New York City.
About the Cover Artist
Kehinde Wiley (born February 28, 1977) is an African-American portrait painter based in New York City, who is known for his highly naturalistic paintings of Black people, frequently referencing the work of Old Master paintings. He was commissioned in 2017 to paint a portrait of former President Barack Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, which has portraits of all previous American presidents. The Columbus Museum of Art, which hosted an exhibition of his work in 2007, describes his work as follows: “Wiley has gained recent acclaim for his heroic portraits which address the image and status of young African-American men in contemporary culture.” Wiley was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018.
Artwork Credit: Kehinde Wiley, The Herring Net (Zakary Antoine and Samedy Pierre Louisson), 2017. © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.
Page Count: 240 pages
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.25
Publication Date: October 2023
Distributor: IPG / Chicago
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights & Publicity contact: Dede Cummings
Distributor: IPG; also available through Ingram, Follett/Baker & Taylor, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can pre-order directly from Bookshop.org, Indiebound.org, online, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order directly through IPG:
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For an advance reader’s copy—digital or print—email email@example.com