Lazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone takes place in a quarantine hospital in Philadelphia. The release date of Lazaretto is set for April 12th, 2016; let’s see the summary of the new book from the critically acclaimed American author.
Lazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone | Release Date and price
Lazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone will be published on April 12, 2016, by Harper Collins. The hardcover edition will be sold for $26,99, while on eBook the novel’s price will be $12,99. The book is already available on pre-order.
Lazaretto | Summary
The Lazaretto is a quarantine hospital isolated on an island where the immigrants who want to live in Philadelphia have to stop. The Lazaretto’s black staff form a deeply connected social community, and when a marriage is set on the island everyone is ready to celebrate, expecially since the white staff are given leave for the next days. On ceremony’s eve a gunshot is fired from a white man to a boat carrying some friends of the couple to the island. The captain is severely injured and his life lies in Sylvia’s hands. Sylvia, the head nurse of the quarantine hospital, is shocked when she realize she knows the patient. While the Lazaretto’s drama unfolds, Diane McKinney-Whetstone presents to the reader the fate of two orphan brothers, who will finally reach the Lazaretto.
Lazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone is a work of historical fiction set in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Lazaretto | About Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Diane McKinney-Whetstone is an African American author living in Philadelphia. She won the American Library Association Black Caucus Award for Fiction twice, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, the Athenaeum Literary Award, Athenaeum of Philadelphia and many other prizes. Diane McKinney-Whetstone wrote 6 novels:
- Tempest Rising
- Blues Dancing
- Leaving Cecil Street
- Trading Dreams at Midnight
- Lazaretto (release date April 12, 2016)
“In my latest novel, Lazaretto”, wrote the author on her official site, “I return to doing what I most love to do: telling stories of everyday people existing in families and communities; characters faltering, yielding to their desires, falling, fighting, climbing, reaching for their better selves”.
An excerpt from Lazaretto, by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
THE DIMLY LIT room smelled of sage and mint and boiled cotton. A lone candle high on a whitewashed mantel threw off just enough light to illuminate a space on the wall above it where a picture of Abraham Lincoln hung. The sight of him with his top hat and wry smile seemed to calm Meda as she pushed and moaned, her legs spread wide apart. Fourteen-year-old Sylvia gently slid her hands between Meda’s legs into what felt to Sylvia like the center of a volcano.
“How many fingers can you insert?” asked Dr. Miss, the midwife directing Sylvia.
“My entire hand,” Sylvia said, as a low-pitched cry of pain rumbled out of Meda and Sylvia quickly pulled her hand back.
“Your hand is not the cause of her discomfort this moment,” Dr. Miss said. “This is her first, and there is no history to draw on with the first to help them when they push.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Sylvia said. This was also Sylvia’s first. She’d worked here going on a year as assistant to Dr. Miss, and right now her duties had taken a monumental leap. She and Dr. Miss had exchanged places, and instead of dabbing Meda’s forehead and speaking encouraging words in a soothing voice, and otherwise doing what Dr. Miss requested, Sylvia now sat on Dr. Miss’s stool at the foot of the cot, taking the lead in delivering a baby.
“Now, tell me what you see.”
Sylvia looked over at the waning flame of the candle that was struggling to stay alive. “I believe I need more light,” she said as she got up to retrieve the candle.
“Did I say you need more light?” Dr. Miss snapped, as if to remind Sylvia who was who.
“No, ma’am, you did not.”
“Your hands should be your light.”
“Yes, ma’am. But you generally employ more light at this juncture. I am just trying to determine if there is a reason—”
“I know how to do this in the absence of light, and you must as well, because another occasion may require it. Leave the candle and return to the stool.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Sylvia said, then held her tongue as she walked back across the pine floor that had been painted white, the way everything in this room was white, from the cot to the stool to the hearth to the frame that held the president’s likeness.
A larger excerpt from Lazaretto is available on Google Books.