Feast your eyes on this! Michele Tracy Berger reveals the cover to her new novella Reenu-You. In her compelling science-fiction novella, she reminds us of the political and social economics that take place amongst minority women about hair and hair care.
New York City, August 1998. On a muggy summer day, five women wake up to discover purple scab-like lesions on their faces—a rash that pulses, oozes, and spreads in spiral patterns. City clinic doctors dismiss the women’s fears as common dermatitis, a regular skin rash. But as more women show up with the symptoms, one clear correlation emerges–an all-natural, first-of-its-kind hair relaxer called Reenu-You.
As the outbreak spreads, and cases of new rashes pop up in black and Latino communities throughout New York, panic and anger also grow. When the malady begins to kill, medical providers and the corporation behind the so-called hair tonic face charges of conspiracy and coercion from outraged minority communities and leaders across the country.
At the heart of the epidemic are these five original women; each from different walks of life. As the world crumbles around them, they will discover more about each other, about themselves, and draw strength to face the future together.
It’s inspired by the 90s–the Rio natural hair relaxer scandal, the fear surrounding HIV/Aids, and more recently, the moral panics of potential worldwide outbreaks of Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Sars, Ebola, and Zika. Michele weaves these ideas and themes into her five characters’ stories.
The cover illustration designed by Emma Glaze captures the sinister Reenu-You product bottle and the undertones of the virus that is soon to spread.
About the author
Michele Tracy Berger is a professor, a creative writer, and a pug-lover. Her main love is science fiction. Her work appears in some notable publications including The Feminist Wire, Ms., and 100wordstory. You can find out more about her at her award-winning blog The Practice of Creativity.
Reenu-You is on sale May 2nd by Book Smugglers Publishing and can be purchased at the following retailers:
Catrina Walters is from the UK, London and works abroad as a high school teacher, teaching film and design in Spain in a pursuit to improve her bad Spanish. She’s a serial traveler and has lived in Hong Kong and El Salvador (yes, murder central!). She binge watches TV shows, takes photographs, and blogs occasionally about her traveling adventures. Twitter: @GlobetrotCat Instagram: @Globetrottingcat