The Changeling, Victor LaValle’s latest novel, is the perfect choice for a library event. It’s a classic fairy tale with ancient and modern elements: Scandinavian legends, Smartphone technology, and the hopes and fears of new parents.
The hero, Apollo Kagwa, is married to Emma, a children’s librarian in a busy branch in Queens. Apollo is a “book man,” dealing in the second-hand market, always looking for a rare and valuable find among estate and library sales.
LaValle was also in that business for a couple of years. “When I was a kid the library was one of the sacred places of my childhood,” says LaValle, who, like Apollo, was raised by a Ugandan mother. He and his friends would go to the Flushing Public Library, because their parents worked and it was a safe place to hang out with each other.
LaValle and Emily Raboteau, an author of fiction essays and professor at City College of New York, are raising a son and daughter.
The Changeling, published on June 13, is in development as a television series through Annapurna Television. LaValle’s novel
The Ballad of Black Tom, about a jazz street musician in New York City, is the basis for a 2018 series on AMC network. LaValle is an executive producer on both projects.