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A River Called Time: What Connects and Separates Us.

-Water does not battle, nor fight among itself. Water moves collectively to achieve its aims- The Book of the Ark

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Newland uses precise, lean, and at times poetic prose to bring his world to life: no slavery, no colonization, yet still society is hierarchical and capitalistic. I haven't read a book quite like this one and wanted to see where the author was going with it and was not disappointed.

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Markriss upon entering the Ark, built to house the haves and welcome those of talent and intellect, is surprised to find that even here there are levels of prosperity and rigid segregation.

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The reality of what is purported and what life is truly like within the walls and towers of the Ark becomes quite clear to Markriss once he is inside and is the catalyst that propels his fight. Black experiences and identity are everywhere within this narrative, the good, bad, and everything in between. Even though women were not as developed as I would have liked, it was clear that they were foundational and without their input, this narrative would have suffered.

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Speech, expression and representation is heavily controlled and any image of the Ark that makes it outside the walls is sanitized and packaged in ways that do not besmirch its 'field of gold' persona.

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The influence of spirituality and cosmology is felt throughout this work, I loved the exploration of parallel existences, who we are at any shared time in different dimensions and what that would be like if experienced and what cascading changes would occur from actions taken in a time and space not our own.

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The depiction of how culture, art, movement, and spiritual beliefs/leanings are utilized in whatever struggle our community faces, how we use it to celebrate and memorialize, is a facet that was embedded within this work and I appreciated it immensely.

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