When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan.
On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away.
The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family.
Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.
Megan Giddings’ first novel, Lakewood, was published by Amistad in March 2020. Her essays and short stories have been published in places such as Black Warrior Review, Catapult, The Iowa Review, Southeast Review, and The Paris Review (online). Megan’s work has been a recipient of a Barbara Deming Memorial Grant for feminist fiction, anthologized in Best of the Net anthologies, and anthologized in Best Small Fictions. She is a Senior Features Editor at The Rumpus, the Fiction Editor at The Offing, and was the anthology editor for a flash fiction anthology, Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction. Megan is currently writing a second novel about witches, Michigan, love, and compliance