Ray Shell


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5 October 2023
ISBN: 9781838859961
336 pages

From the publisher

A searing work of modern fiction tracing a man’s decline into the depths of addiction

Cornelius Washington is brimming with ambition and talent before his life is torn apart by a crack addiction. Taking the form of a diary and written in an arresting stream-of-consciousness style, Iced ponders the gritty realities of Cornelius’s present and past upheavals that have led him here.

Iced paints a portrait of being Black in America and the ways marginalised communities suffer the consequences of shortsighted political policies. First published in 1993, in the wake of the crack epidemic, Iced mixes the syncopated language of the streets with poetry from the heart to take the reader deep into the horrifying world of addiction.

“Its first-person narrative is energised by the power of the speaking voice, which expresses itself in a jagged, syncopated style reminiscent of a rap monologue … It’s difficult to put down, even during its most violent moments” - New Yorker

“An unconventional, powerful, funny, even important, first novel … it is a fully imagined fiction … above all, because of Cornelius’ original and authentic voice” - Times Literary Supplement