Cover Reveal: Drinking from Graveyard Wells by Yvette Lisa Ndlovu

Cover Reveal!

What a standout cover from University Press of Kentucky, for Drinking from Graveyard Wells by debut author Yvette Lisa Ndlovu.

Praise for the Book:

“A wry, subversive and magical collection by a powerful new voice. With sharp humor and wondrous imagination, Ndlovu deftly weaves fantasy and folklore with the contemporary moment to spin these enchanting, frightening stories of injustice and revenge. Watch out reader, these dreamy tales have thorns.” —Mona Awad, author of Bunny.

”Mesmerizing and magical. These tales will stay with me, perhaps even haunt me, for some time to come!” — P. Djèlí Clark, author of Ring Shout.

“A striking and original debut” —Dinaw Mengestu, author of All Our Names

About the Book:

“Even in death, who has ownership over Black women’s bodies?” Questions like this lurk between the lines of this stunning collection of stories that engage with African women’s histories, both personal and generational. Their history is not just one thing: there is heartbreak and pain, and joy, and flying and magic, so much magic. An avenging spirit takes on the patriarchy from beyond the grave. An immigrant woman undergoes a naturalization ceremony in an imagined American state that demands that immigrants pay a toll of the thing they love the most. African heads of state are immortal beings who do not leave the seat of power. A first-generation Zimbabwean-American woman haunted by generational trauma is willing to pay the ultimate price to take her pain away—giving up her memories. Black tax is an ancestral curse and gods are part of a capitalist scheme designed to bar Black people from generational wealth. A neighborhood gossip wakes up to find that houses are mysteriously vanishing in the night. A shapeshifting freedom fighter leaves a legacy of resistance to her granddaughter.

In Drinking from Graveyard Wells,  Yvette Lisa Ndlovu assembles poignantly reflective stories that center the voices of African women charting their own Black history through the ages. Ndlovu’s stories play with genre, from softly surreal to deeply fantastical. Each narrative is wrapped in the literary eloquence and tradition of southern African mythology, transporting readers into the lives of African women who have fought across space and time to be seen.

Drawing on her own early experiences as a Zimbabwean living under the Mugabe dictatorship, Ndlovu’s stories are grounded in truth and empathy. Ndlovu boldly offers up alternative interpretations of a past and a present that speculates upon the everyday lives of a people disregarded. Her words explore the erasure of African women while highlighting their beauty and limitless magic. Immersed in worlds both fantastical and familiar, readers find themselves walking alongside these women, grieving their pain, and celebrating their joy, all against the textured backdrop of Zimbabwe.

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