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Due, Tananarive

Entry updated 12 February 2024. Tagged: Author.

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(1966-    ) US teacher, journalist and author, married to Steven Barnes from 1998; most of her work, like her highly regarded first novel The Between (1995), is fantasy. This may be in part an anti-hegemonic response to the historical dominance of male writers like H P Lovecraft in the creative imagining of the Matter of America in a way that masculinizes Fantastika; it may also reflect a Black American writer's rendering of the experience of being Black in Florida – where The Between is set – may benefit from a more flexible set of tools than the SF Megatext had, until recently, been disposed to make available. After this strong tale, Due is best known for her Blood Immortals sequence – comprising My Soul to Keep (1997), The Living Blood (2001), Blood Colony (2008) and My Soul to Take (2011) – which focuses on a Pariah Elite of Immortal Vampires first in America, then after their emigration to Africa, where the central family, through various travails, struggles to make use of their blood as a healing agent in a torn world. There are some resemblances to Octavia L Butler's Patternist sequence, though in a less epic, more family-oriented, and rather more melodramatic vein; the portrait of Big Pharma attempts to market the Drugs extractable from the family blood, which edges into the Near Future, is sharply conveyed.

Due's more recent Young Adult Zombie sequence with Steven Barnes, comprising Devil's Wake (2012) and Domino Falls (2013), mixes together the tropes of paranormal fiction and the Near Future Zombie apocalypse, which is either taken advantage of or in fact directed by Aliens planning to overcome Homo sapiens. Extraordinarily ambitious, The Reformatory (2023) frames in fantasy terms the sustained murder of Black children in the Dozier school for boys in Florida last century, the ghosts present being children already dead. [JC]

Tananarive Priscilla Due

born Tallahassee, Florida: 5 January 1966



Blood Immortals

  • My Soul to Keep (New York: HarperCollins, 1997) [Blood Immortals: hb/]
  • The Living Blood (New York: Pocket Books, 2001) [Blood Immortals: hb/Tom Hallman]
  • Blood Colony (New York: Simon and Schuster/Atria, 2008) [Blood Immortals: hb/]
  • My Soul to Take (New York: Simon and Schuster/Washington Square Press, 2011) [Blood Immortals: pb/]


  • Devil's Wake (New York: Simon and Schuster/Washington Square Press, 2012) with Steven Barnes [Zombie: pb/]
  • Domino Falls (New York: Simon and Schuster/Washington Square Press, 2013) with Steven Barnes [Zombie: pb/Nikki Smith]

individual titles

  • The Between (New York: HarperCollins, 1995) [hb/Jody Hewgill]
  • The Good House (New York: Simon and Schuster/Washington Square Press, 2003) [hb/]
  • Joplin's Ghost (New York: Simon and Schuster/Washington Square Press, 2005) [hb/Tom Hallman]
  • The Keeper (New York, Harry N Abrams, 2022) with Steven Barnes [graph: illus/hb/Marco Finnegan]
  • The Reformatory (New York: Saga Press, 2023) [hb/]

collections and stories


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