Leila Mottley’s Debut Novel 'Nightcrawling' Tells a Universal Story Rooted in Oakland

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 (Magdalena Frigo)

“I really wanted to depict the ways that young Black girls are made adults by a culture that sees us that way,” says Leila Mottley of her debut novel “Nightcrawling." The 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate started writing the book when she was 17 and three years later, has received glowing reviews and a spot in the Oprah Book Club. Set in Oakland, “Nightcrawling” tells the story of Kiara, a character who offers an unflinching and lyrical portrayal of what it is to be poor, Black and a young woman. We talk to Mottley about her book.


Leila Mottley, author, "Nightcrawling" --Mottley was the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate.