Download The Deep [PDF] By Rivers Solomon

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The Deep book pdf download for free or read online, also The Deep pdf was written by Rivers Solomon.

BookThe Deep
AuthorRivers Solomon
Size1.3 MB

The Deep Book PDF download for free

The Deep Book PDF download for free

Octavia E. Butler meets Marvel’s Black Panther in The Deep, a tale of the Afrofuturism, folklore, and power of memory inspired by the Hugo Award-nominated song “The Deep” by Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping.

Yetu preserves the people’s memories of him, aquatic descendants of pregnant African slaves thrown overboard by slave owners, living idyllic lives in the deep. His past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by all but one: the historian. This demanding role was given to Yetu.

Yetu remembers everyone and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic, terrible and wonderful, destroy them. And so he flees to the surface, escaping memories, expectations and responsibility, and discovering a world his people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more about his own past than he expected, and about the future of his people. If they all want to survive, they must regain their memories, reclaim their identities, and realize who they really are.

“A reorientation of the force of narrative vision… a magnificent, multi-layered work” (Publishers Weekly, star rating), The Deep is a vividly original and uniquely moving story inspired by a song by the rap group Clipping.

The Deep Book Pdf Download

The Deep is a novel written by Rivers Solomon and based on the Hugo-nominated song of the same name by experimental hip-hop group Clipping. The song itself was based on Afrofuturistic mythology created for their compilations by Drexciya, an electronic duo based in Detroit.⠀

That’s the fascinating thing you learn by reading the acknowledgments. ⠀

The Deep is about many things. On the surface, however, they are the Wajinru, a mermaid-like race that has great power over the ocean but little memory. Rightly so: they are a people descended from pregnant African women thrown overboard during the slave trade and whose unborn babies received new aquatic life in the ocean.

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His story is full of pain and struggle. In order to succeed despite suffering, it was decided long ago that one of his people, a historian, should bear the burden of his accumulated history and memory. A responsibility that falls on Yetu, our tender and long-suffering protagonist.⠀

Being a historian means experiencing each memory as if it were your own. However, Yetu has a fragile constitution, so he kills this task, this weight that has stripped her of any individual identity.⠀

So it’s no surprise when, during an annual ceremony where the Wajinru gather to briefly receive memories of their past, long enough to slake a deep thirst for his own history, this memory-free yetu flees. ⠀

What do we do with the trauma we inherit?⠀

Cut in the Acknowledgments. describes the intricate style of development that this particular story went through as a game of telephone, with the original message delivered over and over again, each time a little differently.

Drixceya’s songs were largely wordless, so they began to tell a story through their song titles: a provocative and compelling concept. pull apart. took inspiration from it, added a considerable amount of verbiage, and sang a story about a world devastated by global warming and a people rising up and taking revenge on those who caused it.

Rivers Solomon heard the song and decided to take it to a more personal level and create a story about a town and its relationship to history. His relationship with stories. ⠀

Stories (and what is history but a bunch of stories we tell about ourselves?) work like a telephone game. They are passed on and therefore survive, but their form changes as each individual interprets them differently.

In The Deep we are told that the role of historian is passed down from generation to generation and we are introduced to three different holders of the title: Zoti, Basha and Yetu. And through them we get three interpretations of the story.

For Zoti, the first historian, it is vital to the continued survival of her people. For Basha, it is a call to action, as past hurts fuel righteous anger in the face of present injustice. And for Yetu, it’s just a burden, too deep and heavy to carry alone.⠀

What do we do with the trauma we inherit? That is the central question facing Yetu on her journey of self-discovery. It is also the question of millions of people whose stories have been steeped in fear and adversity. Do we let that define us? Are we ignoring it? Are we drowning in it? Or do we use them to build a better and fairer civilization? ⠀

Yetu finds the answer from him in The Deep. She shares it with her people. And she also shares it with you.⠀

Rivers Solomon has written a captivating, poetic and thought-provoking story, with lyrical prose that enriches Clipping’s heady song with fantasy that amplifies the founding myths of Drexciya. She will stay with you. Will you remember.

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Yetu is the historian of the Wajinru, a large band of sentient sea creatures that resemble mermaids and mythical mermen. They are descendants of dead and dying pregnant African slaves thrown overboard along the Middle Passage. Born in the icy depths, Wajinru’s first cubs had the ability to breathe water, as in the womb. They also had the gills, fins, and also tails.

Their history was too painful to bear, so the Wajinru developed the ability to transfer the memories of their ancestors into the mind of the historian. She only shares these memories with the group once a year to remind them of who they are and where they come from. However, the historian’s role is difficult and Yetu abandons his people to flee to the surface, where she meets several of the genetic “bipeds”.

Yetu’s story is intercut with other stories from Wajinru history, including the tidal war between Wajinru and Twolegs. This war swept the world after the Twolegs went deep in search of oil.

The story is a meditation on the importance of kinship, memory, and shared culture, while balancing the need for individual expression. (“She touched each one of them and found out who each Wajinru was outside of the memory-bringing unit. That was important. Who each of them was was as important as who they all were together.”)

Another interesting topic is “the immediate and visceral pain associated with the transmission of past traumas” to her children. While it’s true that people need to be connected to their past, there are lasting consequences when that history is tinged with cruelty. “When you’re in pain, sometimes the only way out is another pain.”

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In a way, Yetu reminded me of the boy bound in dirt and darkness at the end of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. His eternal misery is the price the Wajinru have to pay to live a carefree life.

While the world building is impressive for a novel, there was one interesting area where I felt more detail was needed. All Wajinru carry male and female reproductive organs. They typically mate in groups of up to five individuals, “everyone engaging at once.” Consequently, their concept of gender differs from that of bipeds.

Wajinru individually determines whether they identify as male, female, both, or neither. This left me with unanswered questions: why should gender roles evolve between creatures with identical biology? Do non-binary Wajinru serve different roles in your society than men and women?

The two/none characters are always denoted by the plural pronouns “we”, “them”, and “their”. This became confusing in scenes where many characters were interacting at the same time. I missed out on a scene where I thought the entire Wajinru party would react as a group to Yetu’s visions, but it was really just one character. (Sci-fi writers should invent a gender-neutral singular pronoun to refer to non-binary characters. The only one available in English today is “it”, which has a connotation of non-human and/or makes no sense) .

The story was inspired by a rap song of the same name by the hip-hop band Clipping. Rivers Solomon credited all three group members as co-authors and contributed an afterword on the origin of this mythology.

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