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Extended Audio Sample Team Seven, by Marcus Burke Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marcus Burke Narrator: Arnell Powell, Simone Cook, James Shippy Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In contemporary American fiction there are very few examples of novels that have portrayed the realities of black inner-city life with honesty, empathy, and storytelling skills. Into that near-vacuum steps Marcus Burke and his first novel, Team Seven—a literarily accomplished, autobiographically tinged coming-of-age family drama with an undeniably authentic feel for place, language, and character.

As Andre Battel, a native of Milton, a town south of Boston, ages from age eight through his teenage years, he grows away from his Jamaican family, discovers genuine prowess on the basketball court, and eventually falls into dealing drugs for the local street gang, Team Seven. But when Andre and his crew fall behind on payments, dire and violent consequences await. The story is told primarily through Andre’s voice, but we also see the point of view of his mother, Ruby, a hardworking medical secretary; his older sister, Nina; his mostly-not-there and typically drunk-and-high father, Eddy, a halfhearted reggae musician; and Reggie and Smoke, the kingpins of competing drug crews.

What emerges is a rich portrait of a black family, a black community, and one young man poised between youthful innocence and ambiguous experience.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Longlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Award
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About the Author

Marcus Burke grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. A standout athlete, he attended prep school at Brimmer and May and was recruited to play basketball at Susquehanna University, where he played varsity for all four years. When a knee injury limited his playing time, he took up fiction writing instead and was accepted at the Iowa Writers Workshop, where he was awarded a grant in honor of James Alan McPherson from the University of Iowa MacArthur Foundation Fund. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.