Time of the Locust

A Novel

Time of the Locust

Travel into the heart and mind of an extraordinary autistic boy in this deeply imaginative debut novel of a mother’s devotion, a father’s punishment, and the power of love.

Sephiri is an autistic boy who lives in a world of his own making, where he dwells among imagined sea creatures that help him process information in the “real world” in which he is forced to live. But lately he has been having dreams of a mysterious place, and he starts creating fantastical sketches of this strange, inner world.

Brenda, Sephiri’s mother, struggles with raising her challenged child alone. Her only wish is to connect with him—a smile on his face would be a triumph. Meanwhile, Sephiri’s father, Horus, is sentenced to life in prison, making life even lonelier for Brenda and Sephiri. Yet prison is still not enough to separate father and son. In the seventh year of his imprisonment and the height of his isolation, Horus develops supernatural mental abilities that allow him to reach his son. Memory and yearning carry him outside his body, and through the realities of their ordeals and dreamscape, Horus and Sephiri find each other—and find hope in ways never imagined.

Deftly portrayed by the remarkable and talented up-and-comer Morowa Yejidé, Time of the Locust is a brilliant narrative about the psychological realms of solitude, youth, and wonder. At its heart, this is a harrowing, surreal, and redemptive journey to the union of a family.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476731353 | 
  • June 2014
List Price $25.00
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Read an Excerpt

About the Author

Morowa Yejide
Photograph by Sarah Fillman

Morowa Yejide

Morowa Yejidé’s (pronounced: Moe-roe-wah Yay-gee-day) short stories have appeared in the Istanbul Review, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Underground Voices, the Adirondack Review, and others.  Her story "Tokyo Chocolate" was nominated in 2009 for the Pushcart Prize, anthologized in the best of the Willesden Herald Stories, and reviewed in the Japan Times. Her novel Time of the Locust was a 2012 finalist for the national PEN/Bellwether Prize and longlisted for the 2015 PEN/Bingham award. Time of the Locust is also a 2015 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and three sons.