Congratulations on the publication of the US Edition of Zalika Reid-Benta’s RIVER MUMMA releasing today from Erewhon Books!

Issa Rae’s Insecure with a magical realist spin: River Mumma is an exhilarating contemporary fantasy novel about a young Black woman who navigates her quarter-life-crisis while embarking on a mythical quest through the streets of Toronto.

Alicia has been out of grad school for months. She has no career prospects and lives with her mom, who won’t stop texting her macabre news stories and reminders to pick up items from the grocery store.

Then, one evening, the Jamaican water deity, River Mumma, appears to Alicia, telling her that she has twenty-four hours to scour the city for her missing comb.

Alicia doesn’t understand why River Mumma would choose her. She can’t remember all the legends her relatives told her, unlike her retail co-worker Heaven, who can reel off Jamaican folklore by heart. She doesn’t know if her childhood visions have returned, or why she feels a strange connection to her other co-worker Mars. But when the trio are chased down by malevolent spirits called duppies, they realize their tenuous bonds to each other may be their only lifelines. With the clock ticking, Alicia’s quest through the city broadens into a journey through time—to find herself and what the river carries.

Energetic and invigorating, River Mumma is a vibrant exploration of diasporic community and ancestral ties, and a homage to Jamaican storytelling by one of the most invigorating voices in today’s literature.

Zalika Reid-Benta’s debut novel RIVER MUMMA received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist Magazine. RIVER MUMMA was selected as a Best Book of the Month for Amazon and Apple Books in February 2024. It was the October 2023 pick for the CityLine book club and has been listed as one of the best fiction books of 2023 on numerous platforms, including CBC Books, Indigo Books, Kobo Books and The Walrus.

Reid-Benta’s debut short story collection FRYING PLANTAIN won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Literary Fiction in 2020. FRYING PLANTAIN was longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and it was shortlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Award, the 2020 Trillium  Book Award, the 2021 White Pine Award and the 2020 Evergreen Award.

Zalika is represented by Amy Tompkins.

Congratulations Zalika!