Mindscape is the debut novel of the award-winning playwright and Professor of Theater and Afro-American Studies at Smith College, Andrea Hairston. Rich in complex characters and the vivid realization of their conflicts—personal, political, and cosmic—Mindscape plays deftly over a range of registers rarely attempted in first novels and celebrates the best of humanity even as it grapples with the worst.

Pulling a bass note from her pelvic floor, [Elleni] slid up her range, vibrating bones and organs until ultrasounds resonated in her nasal passages and shot out her skull. Her fingers danced in and out of the Barrier’s domain. As she hit her highest notes, an archway crystallized just beyond her fingertips, and she almost lost the song.
    — Mindscape

Mindscape takes us to a future in which the world itself has been literally divided by the Barrier. For 115 years this extraterrestrial, epi-dimensional entity has divided the earth into warring zones. Although a treaty to end the interzonal wars has been hammered out, power-hungry politicians, gangsters, and spiritual fundamentalists are determined to thwart it. Celestina, the treaty’s architect, is assassinated, and her protegée, Elleni, a talented renegade and one of the few able to negotiate the Barrier, takes up her mantle. Now Elleni and a motley crew of allies risk their lives to make the treaty work. Can they repair their fractured world before the Barrier devours them completely?

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