Preorder your copy, and we'll donate a copy to someone in prison!
And that's not all. Check this out: when you preorder your copy, you'll also be sharing a free copy with someone in prison!
For every copy preordered from AK Press or any independent bookstore (support your favorite local indie, please!), AK Press will donate a copy to a prison book organization, to be sent to an incarcerated reader. There are so many amazing prison book groups we love and support, and our goal is to get as many copies to as many of them as possible. Will you help us make it happen?
ALL preorders directly from AK Press will be automatically included and books will be donated with no further action on your part. If you preorder your copy from an independent bookstore, please send us your order information and receipt HERE so we can be sure to count your order too!
Begin the World Over is a counterfactual novel about the Founders’ greatest fear—that Black and Indigenous people might join forces to undo the newly formed United States of America—coming true.
In 1793, as revolutionaries in the West Indies take up arms, James Hemings has little interest in joining the fight for liberté—talented and favored, he is careful to protect his relative comforts as Thomas Jefferson’s enslaved chef. But when he meets Denmark Vesey, James is immediately smitten. The formidable first mate persuades James to board his ship, on its way to the revolt in Saint-Domingue. There and on the mainland they join forces with a diverse cast of characters, including a gender nonconforming prophetess, a formerly enslaved jockey, and a Muskogee horse trader. The resulting adventure masterfully mixes real historical figures and events with a riotous retelling of a possible history in which James must decide whether to return to his constrained but composed former life, or join the coalition of Black revolutionaries and Muskogee resistance to fight the American slavers and settlers.
Praise for Begin the World Over
"Telling an alternative history of the Caribbean slave rebellions in the 1790s, it’s a story of adventure, determination, and people’s passion for freedom and each other. This historical fiction with a twist has an intriguing plot that will make the reader ask how the world could be different."
"Begin the World Over remixes Baldwin's plea to do your first works over and artfully asks what if we did our national imagination over. It is creative as it is rigorous and enjoyable as it is demanding. Kung Li made me want to rewrite every ounce of history this nation has told me was truth, in search of multiple freedoms etched on terms set by our hearts."
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy