Dig is a clever angry story that is very much needed by a world that can often excel in hate speech.
Every book that I’ve read by A.S. King has been hard-hitting, but none more than Dig released last month in Australia by Text Publishing.
Dig is the story of one family and the rot or blight within which has the power to destroy. King uses her craft as a master storyteller to tell her story from multiple points of view. As with all her stories, there is an ethereal thread running through Dig that jabs at the reader with its honesty and dares you not to believe in the magic of life. Many of the characters in Dig stand in the margins of society; King gives a voice to the voiceless while at the same time encouraging such characters to speak for themselves.
In Dig, King peels back the layers of self-entitlement and a toxic white culture to tell the story of a potato-farming family that polluted itself with hate and greed. Despite being an uncomfortable read, Dig is compelling and leaves readers with a sense of hope for the next generation. Dig is a clever angry story that is very much needed by a world that can often excel in hate speech.
…I’ve never understood white people who can’t admit they’re white, I mean, white isn’t just a color. And maybe that’s the problem for them. White is a passport. It’s a ticket. The world is a white amusement park and your white skin buys you into it. A woman in economy argued with me about this one. She said, “I’ve heard this idea and makes me uncomfortable.”
“It probably should,” I said.
From the publisher:
Only a generation removed from being Pennsylvania potato farmers, property developers Gottfried and Marla Hemmings now sit atop a seven-figure bank account—wealth they’ve declined to pass on to their adult children or teenage grandchildren.
‘Because we want them to thrive,’ Marla always says. What does thriving look like? Like carrying a snow shovel everywhere. Like selling pot from a fast-food drive-thru window. Like a first-class ticket to Jamaica between cancer treatments. Like a flea circus in a trailer. Like the GPS coordinates to a mound of dirt in a New Jersey forest.
As the rot beneath the surface of the Hemmings’ suburban respectability begins to spread, the far-flung grandchildren gradually find their ways back to one another, just in time to uncover the terrible cost of maintaining the family name.With her inimitable surrealism and insight into the teenage experience, YA master A.S. King explores how a corrosive culture of polite, affluent white supremacy tears a family apart and how one determined generation can save themselves.
Dig was released in April 2019 by Text Publishing.
A.S. King is the award-winning author of nine acclaimed YA novels. Please Ignore Vera Dietz earned a 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor and Ask the Passengers won the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. King lives with her family in Pennsylvania, where she returned after a decade in Ireland living off the land and teaching adult literacy.