Alaya Dawn Johnson

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Alaya Dawn Johnson (b. 1982) is a speculative fiction writer living in New York City. She has written six novels, and her most recent, Love is the Drug (2014) was nominated for the Norton Award.

Love is the Drug is set in contemporary or near-future Washington, D.C. at the start of a flu pandemic threatening the globe. High school senior Bird just wants to think about applying to college or perhaps becoming a shopkeeper, but she finds herself pulled into the center of a political mystery linked to a night of partying that she can’t seem to remember. The mysterious and dangerous Roosevelt watches her every move and Bird must put the pieces together before everyone she loves comes to harm.

Dealing with the consequences of an epic pandemic, Love is the Drug is science fiction. But it also deals with issues of race, class, and gender as Bird navigates her privileged life as the rich daughter of esteemed scientists in combination with her status as a disenfranchised young black woman who must fight hard to have her assertions and outlook to be taken seriously.