Local Literary Events

Published on September 19th, 2019 | by TLV News


Square Books, Jr. Welcomes Debut Young Adult Author Brittney Morris with “Slay”

Wednesday, September 25 at Off Square Books

Debut author Brittney Morris engrossingly explores the intersectional issues of social justice, community, and diaspora that will resonate with anyone who has questioned who they are and where they fit into the world in Slay.

This powerful young adult novel follows fierce teen game developer Kiera Johnson as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers.

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the Slay world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and Slay is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.” Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness.

Drawing from her experience navigating being the first Black graduate from her high school and the only Black at her place of employment, in a feature with Publishers Weekly, Morris said: “I wrote Slay for Black teens who live between worlds as I did, who feel pressure to be one version of themselves at work or school, and only get to be themselves among people who share their experiences.”

Brittney Morris is the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. Brittney spends her spare time playing video games, slaying at DDR, and enjoying the Seattle rain from her apartment. She lives with her husband Steven, who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn’t played enough horror games.

You can find her online at AuthorBrittneyMorris.com, on Twitter and Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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