Kiese Laymons debut novel is a Twain-esque exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and coming of age in Post-Katrina Mississippi, written in a voice thats alternately funny, lacerating, and wise. The book contains two interwoven stories. In the first, its 2013: after an on-stage meltdown during a nationally televised quiz contest, 14-year-old Citoyen City Coldson becomes an overnight YouTube celebrity. The next day, hes sent to stay with his grandmother in the small coastal community of Melahatchie, where a young girl named Baize Shephard has recently disappeared.
Before leaving, City is given a strange book without an author called Long Division. He learns that one of the books main characters is also named City Coldsonbut Long Division is set in 1985. This 1985 City, along with his friend and love-object, Shalaya Crump, discovers a way to travel into the future, and steals a laptop and cellphone from an orphaned teenage rapper called...Baize Shephard. They ultimately take these with them all the way back to 1964, to help another time-traveler they meet protect his family from the Klan.
Citys two stories ultimately converge in the mysterious work shed behind his grandmothers, where he discovers the key to Baizes disappearance.