Synopses & Reviews
It's 1986 and twenty-one-year-old Angie continues to mourn the death of her brilliant and radical sister Ella. On impulse, she travels from Detroit to the place where Ella tragically died four years beforeNigeria. She retraces her sister's steps, all the while navigating the chaotic landscape of a major African country on the brink of democracy careening toward a coup d'état.
At the center of this quest is a love affair that upends everything Angie thought she knew about herself. Against a backdrop of Nigeria's infamous go-slowtraffic as wild and surprising as a Fela lyricAngie begins to unravel the mysteries of the past, and opens herself up to love and life after Ella.
Bridgett M. Davis's debut novel Shifting Through Neutral (Amistad, 2004) was a Borders Books Original Voices” selection and a finalist for the 2005 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright LEGACY Award. Davis was selected as the New Author of the Year by Go On Girl! Book Clubthe largest national reading group for African American women. She currently writes for O, The Oprah Magazine and other publications.
Into the Go-Slow tells the story of a place, a family, and a time through the worlds of a woman as she moves from grief to healing. Bridgett M. Davis writes with passion, precision, and a wide-open heart.”
Linda Villarosa, director, City College Journalism Program and author of Passing for Black
At its core, Into the Go-Slow is a love storyromantic love, love of family, love of culture, love of self. This novel shows how we live when we dare to face our fear and lay bare our hurts. Angie is an unforgettable heroine who will steal your heart and break it, too. Bridgett M. Davis is a brilliant writer, a soulful artist, and a true citizen of the world.”
Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta
Into the Go-Slow spans continents and years, and traces the lives of sisters linked by loss and discovery. Bridgett Davis vividly renders the troubled, idealistic 1970s and the what's-left-to-dream-about 1980s, offering a powerful narrative driven by the all-too-human bafflement about how to resolve what could have been with what is."
Farai Chideya, author, journalist, and host of One with Farai on Public Radio International
Into the Go-Slow is an exquisitely executed journey enriched by the depth and complexity of the characters, the detailed specificity of the varied communities of Nigeria, and, above all, the poignant rendering of the yearning heart of the one who was left behind. Just beautiful.”
Wilhelmina Jenkins, moderator for the literary fiction by people of color group on Goodreads
Davis (Shifting Through Neutral, 2005) explores the ambivalent, often troubling experiences of African-Americans in Africa through the lens of a young woman who, having grown up during the civil rights upheavals of the 1960s and 70s, struggles to find her place in the world during the less idealistic '80s.”
"The novels galloping, and-then-this-happened rhythm lets the reader share in Angies sense of wide-eyed surprise as she shadows Ellas own itinerary. Into the Go-Slow has a familiar coming-of-age arc, but Davis writes with admirable ferocity about the ways that place and identity intersect.”
Mark Athitakis for Belt Mag
"Into the Go-Slow is a classic heros tale with traditional themes like the loss of innocence and the quest for ones bounty amid obstacles. The novel also succeeds at holding up art as a gateway to cross-border connection among blacks, a jumping off point from which we can have painful conversations and learn from each other to move forward as collaborators, in the truest sense of the word, as we have always been. For all of its politics, Into the Go-Slow is also about grief, healing, and refusing nostalgia, in the way that good novels are always about more than one thing.”
Danielle Jackson for New Black Man
"Davis writes with admirable ferocity about the ways that place and identity intersect."
Mark Athitakis for Belt Mag
"Davis crafts her protagonist as a strong-willed, defiant, intelligent yet extremely vulnerable young girl on the brink of womanhood...The narrative is deeply character-driven and the Mackenzie family, through their momentous joy and devastating heartbreak, showcases a stunning spectrum of the human experience. The communities of Nigeria are drawn with the utmost respect and care. Although the narrative is propelled by the political climate of Nigeria and the desolation of 1980's Detroit, Davis ensures that the focus is on the plight of the novel's heroine. Into the Go-Slow is a work that spans across continents, cultures, and time yet the author's smooth execution makes for a compelling and succinct read."
Vanessa Willoughby for Bookslut
"Davis allegory-as-novel is a negotiation between moving forward and remembering the past. Four years after her sister died in Nigeria in 1984, Angie leaves her tedious retail job in an American mall for the frenetic streets of Lagos. Retracing her sisters final steps, she discovers her own racial, sexual and social identity.”
"Get into this tale of loss and understanding, and enjoy."
Brook Stephenson, Ebony
Davis coming of age narrative offers a needed contribution to the collection of stories that discuss the challenges of finding oneself amid all those who are already present.”
Emma Schneider, Full Stop
Davis novel is as much an African story as it is an American story
In Davis work, Africa is not this abstract idea. Her Lagos, her Kano bristles with abundant life, around which she weaves a lovely story about those small but lasting redemptions that only a sisters love can bring.”
Ainehi Edoro, Brittle Paper
The plot covers a lot of heavy material, including sexual abuse and assault, imperialism, political corruption, and economic inequality. Ultimately, though, Angies journey is about carving out her identity and learning to step out of the shadow of her older sister while still honoring her memory.”
Jacqueline Sheppard, Bust
A novel about sisters, the legacy of the Black Power Movement, and the troubled bond between African Americans and Africans.
Into the Go Slow is a novel about a family in Detroit in the aftermath of the Black Power Movement. Angie, the youngest daughter, travels from 1980s Detroit to Lagos, Nigeria after her estranged older sister Ella mysteriously dies there. It is on this transatlantic journey that Angie discovers not only who her sister really was, but ultimately, herself.
About the Author
Bridgett Davis: Bridgett Daviss debut novel Shifting Through Neutral was published in 2004 by Amistad/ HarperCollins. The novel was a Borders Books Original Voices” Selection and a finalist for the 2005 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright LEGACY Award. Davis was selected as the New Author of the Year by Go on Girl! Book Clubthe largest national reading group for African American women. Booklist called the novel, "A riveting family drama filled with sharply drawn individuals who love and fail each other with stunning intensity" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout described the novel as, "A wonderful and unique story of a father and his daughter
.There is a strange, compelling sweetness to the sorrow in this book, a poignancy that cuts incisively through the tender tissue of family love."
Daviss essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Newsday, Columbia Journalism Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Detroit Free Press, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Atlanta Journal , the Chicago Tribune, TheRoot.com and a host of other publications.