A NOVEL IN VERSE
a story about what we stand for, and how that makes us who we are
It’s a coming-of-age tale about a girl, a boy, a dog, a dam, a travel ban, an orange toddler, a political movement and the hip-hop guide to life. It’s a novel that confronts questions of privilege, identity, voice and influence in a post-truth world.
But most of all, it’s about the power of the stories we tell ourselves.
These sonnets are Shakespearean. They all have a set rhythm. It's daDA daDA daDA daDA daDA. Lines start without emphasis, then alternate, and always end on the emphasis.
They all have a set length. Each verse is fourteen lines. Each line is ten syllables.
They all have rhymes. The rhyme scheme is three alternating quatrains and a resolving couplet: abab cdcd efef gg.
Rewriting Stella is nearly 80,000 words adhering to those strict rules. You'll barely notice it.
MEET THE CAST
A tricksy girl named Stella once did live among acacia thorns and ng'ombe poop. In Tanzanian hinterlands rains give sweet life to every possible food group.
The vessel's architect was named Abu. His family moved nearby sometime this year. Line-drawn detail suggested through and through that he'd seen some aquatic hemisphere.
Though fat with bread, the puppy never grew beyond concealed carry canine size, and so it was that Grandmum never knew her Stella hadn't two—but four!—brown eyes.
LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST
Rewriting Stella comes with a playlist, chronologically ordered for your listening pleasure. It's mostly in English, with a few Swahili, Spanish, and instrumental additions. Each track or artist is referenced somehow in the novel, starting with the cryptically ornate "Dots & Lines" by Lupe Fiasco. The bug illustration all the way at the bottom of this page accompanies that one.
Scroll through the track list to the left. Try a song out from someone you haven't heard. Maybe you'll uncover similarities between Janis Joplin and Nas or Sly & The Family Stone and Eminem.
Read more about the playlist in a blog post here.