50 pages 1 hour read

N. K. Jemisin

The City We Became

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

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Chapters 7-10Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary: “The Thing in Mrs. Yu’s Pool”

Padmini Prakash, a graduate student in mathematics and the avatar of Queens, gazes at the Manhattan skyline from her home in Jackson Heights when she sees a massive, translucent tentacle smash the Williamsburg Bridge. Even from miles away, she hears screams. Suddenly, the city awakens within her: She feels its street traffic, hears its subways, and smells its scents. No sooner does she hear the screams from Williamsburg than her attention is pulled toward her neighbor Mrs. Yu’s backyard where her grandsons are playing in the pool. Something dangerous lurks at the bottom, and Padmini must get them out of the water before they touch the bottom. Using her math abilities augmented by the powers of the city, she flies down the stairs and is poolside in seconds, pulling one boy out of the water. However, the tendrils grab the other boy and start to pull him under. Using her newfound power, she conjures a liquid more fluid than water and pulls the boy free. She calls forth a final burst of energy and drives the creature away. As she cradles the terrified boy, Manny and Brooklyn show up.

Manny and Brooklyn survey the aftermath of the pool attack.

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