Lauren Wilkinson: American Spy

photo credit: Niqui Carter

photo credit: Niqui Carter

I love this country and I’m a productive member of society, but there’s always this feeling that I’m in this place that doesn’t serve me or people who look like me. It feels like there’s this double life.
— Lauren Wilkinson

Lauren Wilkinson joins me to discuss her debut novel American Spy.

It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes.

American Spy has won starred and rave reviews in every publication from Kirkus to Time. Publisher’s Weekly writes, “[This] unflinching, incendiary debut combines the espionage novels of John le Carré with the racial complexity of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.”

Buy Lauren’s novel American Spy.