by Tananarive Due
Award-winning author and Black Horror scholar Tananarive Due’s 1995 debut novel, The Between is reissued with a new foreword by the author as well as, for the first time ever, in digital audio.
We’re in the midst of a Black Horror renaissance. We have Jordan Peele, Colson Whitehead, and Victor LaValle all producing the masterpieces of our time. But let’s not forget who it all started—Tananarive Due is the queen of Black Horror. Writing dozens of mesmerizing novels, teaching Black Horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA, and even producing the groundbreaking documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror—Due has been a leading voice for more than 20 years. And now, her hauntingly thrilling 1995 debut novel The Between has been reissued.
Due, a leading voice in Black speculative fiction, is an executive producer on Shudder’s groundbreaking documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror and developed a course at UCLA called “The Sunken Place: Racism, Survival and The Black Horror Aesthetic” after the release of Jordan Peele’s Get Out. This reissue, like Due’s overarching work, comes at a time when Black-centered speculative fiction is reinventing how we understand traditional genres.
The Between follows the story of Hilton, a young boy who discovers his grandmother’s cold, dead body lying on the kitchen floor. When he returns with help, she’s alive but something just isn’t the same. The story picks up thirty years in the future—Hilton is married with kids and running a successful rehab center. But when his wife, a newly elected judge, receives racially charged threats, Hilton’s perfect life starts to flip upside down. Hilton’s nightmares return. He’s barely getting any sleep, his memories are fading, his relationships begin to fall apart. The line between reality and nightmares blurs…and Hilton’s mind begins to unravel.
In The Between, the reader is left to decipher how much of Hilton’s nightmares are real and how much of it is just a dream. As Hilton is faced with isolation, confusion and madness, the reader questions—what does this all have to do with Hilton’s formative years raised by his grandmother?
Due deftly creates a layered narrative, one that’ll have the reader questioning who and what to believe. And although this novel was originally published more than 25 years ago, her exploration of themes of racial and social injustices, family tensions, and grief still ring true today.