Lauren Wilkinson – American Spy

American Spyupdates the espionage thriller with blazing originality. (Entertainment Weekly)

There has never been anything like it. (Marlon James,GQ)

So much fun…. Like the best of John le Carr, its extremely tough to put down. (NPR)

Named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year By Chicago Tribuneand One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review Time NPR Entertainment Weekly Esquire BuzzFeed Vulture Real Simple Good Housekeeping The New York Public Library

What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love?

Its 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. Shes brilliant, but shes also a young black woman working in an old boys club. Her career has stalled out, shes overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when shes given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes.

Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects shes being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent.

In the year that follows, Marie will observe Sankara, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American.

Inspired by true events – Thomas Sankara is known as Africas Che Guevara – American Spy knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War youve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice.

Nominated for the NAACP Image Award

Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

Spy fiction plus allegory, and a splash of pan-Africanism. What could go wrong? As it happens, very little.Clever, bracing, darkly funny, and really, really good. (Ta-Nehisi Coates)

Inspired by real events, this espionage thriller ticks all the right boxes, delivering a sexually charged interrogation of both politics and race. (Esquire)

Echoing the stoic cynicism of Hurston and Ellison, and the verve of Conan Doyle, American Spy lays our complicities – political, racial, and sexual – bare. Packed with unforgettable characters, its a stunning book, timely as it is timeless. (Paul Beatty, Man Booker Prize-winning author ofThe Sellout)

Author: Lauren Wilkinson
Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Duration: 10 hours 50 minutes
Released: 19 Dec 2002
Publisher: Random House Audio
Language: English

User Review:

crystallization sociable

The story was just ok. I expected much more from such a rich topic with the potential for excellence. There were many occasions were I got annoyed by the characters and lag in the plot development – and just wanted to get fast forward through. Telling the story as if reading from a journal did not manifest as fluidly as I imagine it was in the authors concept. Bahni Turpin, again, was phenomenal in her narration. Probably the only reason I finished the story. Had it been anyone else, I wouldve stopped and returned the book.