Los Angeles Times

Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates imagines a magical means to freedom

"The Water Dancer" by Ta-Nehisi Coates; One World (416 pages, $28)

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The best writers - the best storytellers, in particular - possess the enchanting, irresistible power to take the reader somewhere else. Ta-Nehisi Coates imagines the furthest reach of that power as a means to transcend borders and bondage in "The Water Dancer," a spellbinding look at the impact of slavery that uses meticulously researched history and hard-won magic to further illuminate this nation's original sin.

For Coates, whose epistolary quasi-memoir "Between the World and Me" won a National Book Award in 2015, this trip to the past was foreshadowed in his vividly

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