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The Illegal

Lawrence Hill
W.W. Norton

Like every young boy in Zantoroland, all Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect. Running means riches. And who can stop him? His country turns out the very best runners on earth. But when Keita’s family is targeted for his father’s outspoken political views, Keita must run for his life. Viola Hill is a black reporter trying to break out the sports pages challenged less by the limits of wheelchair than by her editor’s efforts to thwart her investigations. Wise-cracking and tough, Viola is on a mission to expose the government’s corruption, no matter how dangerous her assignment. John Falconer is a star student, a mixed-race child living two lives one on the wrong side of the track in the Township of Africtown, where many of the inhabitants are illegal immigrants, and one at the Clarkston Academy for the Gifted, where he has received a rare scholarship. But he finds himself in the midst of an international political scandal that might get him killed. Lula DiStefano, the unofficial and self-proclaimed Queen of Africtown, is a combination of saintly civic leader and demon who runs Africtown’s infamous brothel. If it’s happening in Africtown, Lula has a part in it. And if you’re in Africtown, Lula gets a part of you, too.

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