Saturday, July 30, 2022

Ten indispensable black, queer, & feminist coming-of-age stories

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is the author of The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora (2021), the short story collection, Blue Talk and Love (2015), winner of the Judith Markowitz Award for Fiction from Lambda Literary, and the new novel Big Girl.

Sullivan is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses in African American poetry and poetics, Black queer and feminist literatures, and creative writing. She lives in Washington, DC.

At Publishers Weekly she tagged ten "indispensable stories of Black, feminist, and LGBTQ+ coming of age," including:
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Laymon’s acclaimed memoir tells the truth about growing up in a fat Black body in 20th-century America. In sharp and often devastating prose, Laymon reveals the links between racism, classism, and patriarchal violence that constrain our bodies and the language we use to understand them. Heavy gives us the kind of frank, vulnerable narrator we fall in love with in coming-of-age fiction, bringing a novelistic sense of character and connection to a story of becoming that’s urgently true.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue