“Salaam treats words like the seductive weapons they are. She wields them to weave fierce, gorgeous stories that stroke your sensibilities, challenge your preconceptions and leave you breathless with their beauty.”—Nalo Hopkinson, Author of the Nebula nominated novel The New Moon's Arms
Kiini Ibura Salaam’s short stories (and the characters who inhabit them) are vital, fantastic in all senses of the word, audacious and tender.”—Kelly Link, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated collection Get In Trouble
In this eagerly-awaited collection, Kiini Ibura Salaam continues her exploration of the dark, the sensual, and the mysterious with fiction that disturbs, delights, and dazzles. The five stories and one novella collected in When the World Wounds examine the tumultuous nature of the human condition through such wild imaginings as sensual encounters with deer, escapism in a dystopic prison, and volcano women. In “The Taming,” a lupine creature is trapped by beasts whose nefarious nature is beyond their prey’s understanding. In “Hemmie’s Calenture,” a woman escaping enslavement is thrust into a war between gods. “The Pull of the Wing” is the prequel to Salaam’s wildly popular Of Wings, Nectar, and Ancestors trilogy. “Because of the Bone Man” transports readers to the desolate landscape of post-Katrina New Orleans and the struggle of the city’s culture bearers to carry on.
A welcome follow-up to Salaam’s award-winning Ancient, Ancient, When the World Wounds is perceptive and engaging as it examines our world’s callous and perilous landscapes while tickling the imagination and startling the senses.
“Kiini Ibura Salaam is a natural-born storyteller and a gorgeous writer who chooses her characters and words with the care and skill of a poet. Her stories are transformative, wise and vivid with the quality of fantasy and fable. I loved reading this!”—Sherre Renée Thomas, Editor of the World Fantasy Award winning anthology Dark Matter: Reading the Bones
“Salaam’s collection… introduces readers to alternate worlds built around magic, sensuality, sexuality, and the search for emotional comfort, however tenuous. … Salaam’s unusual settings and lonely characters will call to readers who hunger for sex, identity, or just a place to belong.”—Publishers Weekly
Kiini Ibura Salaam's first collection Ancient, Ancient (Aqueduct Press, 2012) won the James Tiptree Award. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The second collection from Tiptree Award winner Salaam (after Ancient, Ancient) assembles five speculative fiction short stories and a novella that explore themes of freedom and the challenge of coming to terms with foreign lives and alien worlds. The skillfully done second-person point of view of "The Malady of Need" emphasizes the protagonist's double entrapment by prison and a very personal obsession. Salaam captures the intensity of alien perspectives and desires within the unfamiliar worlds of "The Taming." "The Pull of the Wing," a prequel to Salaam's Of Wings, Nectar, and Ancestors trilogy, captures the ambition of youth even in the face of harsh punishment. The powerful "Hemmie's Calenture" and "Volcano Woman" delineate a woman's quest for freedom and exalt in the discovery of one's personal strength and power. No less intense for its greater length, "Because of the Bone Man" finds supernatural forces gathering to save a city amid the chaos of post-Katrina New Orleans (Salaam's home town). These passionate stories of personal revelation, rebellion, and discovery celebrate strong-minded, determined characters and the search for independence in worlds that offer no easy way forward.