by Robert Jones Jr.
‘Rarely is a book this finely wrought,
the lives and histories it holds so tenderly felt,
and rendered unforgettably true’ Ocean Vuong,
author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Robert Jones Jr. blends the lyricism of Toni Morrison with
the vivid prose of Zora Neale Hurston
to characterise the forceful, enduring bond of love, and what happens when brutality threatens the purest form of serenity.
The Halifax plantation is known as Empty by the slaves who work it under the pitiless gaze of its overseers and its owner, Massa Paul. Two young enslaved men, Samuel and Isaiah dwell among the animals they keep in the barn,
helping out in the fields when their day is done. But the barn is their haven, a space of radiance and love – away from the blistering sun and the cruelty of the toubabs – where they can be alone together.
But, Amos – a fellow slave – has begun to direct suspicion towards the two men and their refusal to bend.
Love, in all its permutations, is the discovery at the heart of Robert Jones Jr’s breathtaking debut, The Prophets.