book cover of The Lesson
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The Lesson

(2019)
A novel by

 
 
Winner of the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Speculative Fiction Debut

Shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

Longlisted for the Massachusetts Book Award

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019 in Science Fiction

A Library Journal Best Book of 2019 in Science Fiction & Fantasy

A Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2019)

An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last.

A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witnesses and victims to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.

Genre: Science Fiction

Praise for this book

"I came for the aliens and a war of the worlds. I stayed for the deadpan St. Thomas humor; the complicated, charming, sexy island folk; and Turnbull's delicious prose. He may not only be a new voice in sci-fi, but also a major new name in Caribbean American literature." - Wilton Barnhardt

"Cadwell Turnbull's The Lesson brings an alien invasion to St. Thomas with a breadth that encompasses the past, present, and future. As his well-drawn characters wrestle with interspecies challenges, Turnbull imparts lessons that both embrace and transcend culture and race to drive at the heart of what it means to be human." - Tananarive Due

"In The Lesson Cadwell Turnbull, by setting his story in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, makes something completely new of the old theme of humans' first contact with superior aliens. Putting these 'colonizing aliens' in a place shaped by colonialism opens new perspectives on issues of race and culture and sex and exploitation. But the true wonder of this novel is its beautifully realized portrayal of Charlotte Amalie and its deeply human and complex characters, young and old, all of them transformed by the arrival of the ambiguously motivated Ynaa. It's a story of mystery, romance, tragedy, and redemption. Like Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin before him, Turnbull uses the tools of science fiction to illuminate the human heart. The Lesson stands at the beginning of what I expect to be a long and illustrious career." - John Kessel

"Turnbull's bold and provocative debut pits aliens against slavers, aliens against the descendants of slaves. On the island of St. Thomas, a family collides with intergalactic meddlers, stranding two lovers with souls in distant worlds. A forbidding panoply of colonial mischief." - Kris Lackey

"Cadwell Turnbull paints a stunningly intricate portrait of humanity, capturing hopes and dreams, flaws and failings with remarkable depth and texture. The Lesson is a blast to read and a meaningful exploration of the bearing of colonialism and the perils of human ambition." - Sylvain Neuvel


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Used availability for Cadwell Turnbull's The Lesson

Hardback Editions

June 2019 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Lesson: A Novel
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
ISBN: 1-5385-8464-6 / 978-1-5385-8464-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2020 : Paperback
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Title: The Lesson
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
ISBN: 1-09-408129-9 / 978-1-09-408129-8
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

June 2019 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Lesson: A Novel
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
ISBN: 1-5385-8458-1 / 978-1-5385-8458-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2019 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Lesson: Library Edition
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
ISBN: 1-5385-8457-3 / 978-1-5385-8457-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2019 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Lesson
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
ISBN: 1-5385-8459-X / 978-1-5385-8459-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Lesson
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   


June 2019 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Lesson
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon AU   


June 2019 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Lesson
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon CA   


June 2019 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Lesson
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

June 2019 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Lesson
Author(s): Cadwell Turnbull
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU