‘Settled Dust speaks humanity’s universal language of freedom, love’
By Godwin Okondo
TITI Horsfall’s latest literary work, Settled Dust, was unveiled in New York City’s famous Times Square, United States of America on Thursday, July 27, 2023. The unveiling enjoyed a Times Square billboard display bearing the image of the author and her book, and over-looking Broadway, at the ever busy city centre of Manhattan. In no small measure, Settled Dust gloriously announced its presence in New York to a global audience. The New York unveiling came on the heels of a similar unveiling in London two weeks ago on Friday, July 14, 2023 during the African Achievers Awards 2023 held at the House of Lords, Westminster Parliament, Horsfall read from her latest work.
Settled Dust is an African story inspired by the infamous Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and set in the early 1800s. The heroine, Loma, bearing the weight of global history and identity on her slender shoulders, is determined to raise her head despite the odds, to seek for her chance at life. Settled Dust tells her story through the aftermath of life-altering experiences that intersect race, ethnicity, gender, love and faith.
Novelist and poet, Titi Horsfall and her new book, Settled Dust (top right) on a Times Square, New York, billboard spotlight
Another layer is evident within Loma’s own story, the heavy burden of femininity in a patriarchal world, and how life is lived in a lineage of women that reaches far into antiquity. Even with the weight of history and identity on her shoulders, Loma takes a stand for her freedom and recovery.
It is upon this expectation of renewal that Settled Dust made its berth in New York. Moreso, the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) is intended to put global focus on the experiences, challenges, and victories of people of African descent. Horsfall, in her literary work, weighs in on themes exploring identity, resiliency and the pursuit of love.
Horsfall spoke on what the unveiling in New York means for her and Settled Dust, when she said, “This is a timing for Settled Dust. I only recently became aware of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. Quite a timing. Furthermore, New York holds many intersections for Settled Dust. The iconic Statue of Liberty, for example, reflects humanity’s collective dreams of being freed from what chains – mental and physical – that hold majority down all over the world. Settled Dust is literature that speaks to humanity the universal language of freedom, of love.”
Horsfall also commended her US publisher, Deep Rivers Book, saying, “I appreciate my publisher Andrew Carmichael of Deep River Books (Oregon) for supporting my journey as a writer. Andrew made the process of publishing Settled Dust such a memorable and exciting journey. And to founders, Bill and Nancie Carmichael as well, thank you!”
Novelist and poet, Horsfall is the recipient of the African Achievers Award 2023. With several published works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, Horsfall is fascinated by the concept of purpose and seeks to convey it through her writing.