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In the vein of powerful reads like The Hate U Give and Girl in Pieces, comes poet Morgan Parker's pitch-perfect novel about a black teenage girl searching for her identity when the world around her views her depression as a lack of faith and blackness as something to be politely ignored.
Trapped in sunny, stifling, small-town suburbia, seventeen-year-old Morgan knows why she's in therapy. She can't count the number of times she's been the only non-white person at the sleepover, been teased for her "weird" outfits, and been told she's not "really" black. Also, she's spent most of her summer crying in bed. So there's that, too.
Lately, it feels like the whole world is listening to the same terrible track on repeat--and it's telling them how to feel, who to vote for, what to believe. Morgan wonders, when can she turn this song off and begin living for herself?
Life may be a never-ending hamster wheel of agony, but Morgan finds her crew of fellow outcasts, blasts music like there's no tomorrow, discovers what being black means to her, and finally puts her mental health first. She decides that, no matter what, she will always be intense, ridiculous, passionate, and sometimes hilarious. After all, darkness doesn't have to be a bad thing. Darkness is just real.
Loosely based on her own teenage life and diaries, this incredible debut by award-winning poet Morgan Parker will make readers stand up and cheer for a girl brave enough to live life on her own terms--and for themselves.
About the Author
Morgan Parker is the author of Magical Negro (Tin House Books 2019), There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House Books 2017), and Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night (Switchback Books 2015). Her debut book of nonfiction will be released in 2020 by One World. Parker received her bachelor's degree in anthropology and creative writing from Columbia University and her master's in poetry from NYU. Her poetry and essays have been published and anthologized in numerous publications, including the Paris Review; The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop; Best American Poetry 2016; the New York Times; and the Nation. Parker is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Find her online at morgan-parker.com and on Twitter at @morganapple.
Praise for Magical Negro:
“Parker writes of the black experience not as an antidote or opposite to whiteness, but a culture and community where irreplicable nuances are created in spite of, not because of, pain and trauma.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“2019 justly belongs to Morgan Parker . . . [she] is one of this generation’s best minds.” —Danez Smith, T Magazine
"Nothing short of triumphant.” —NYLON
“A desperately urgent work of poetry.” —Booklist
“Morgan Parker’s poetry is vital, in both senses of the word. Her most recent collection, There Are Things More Beautiful Than Beyoncé, was an absolute knockout―a breathtaking exploration of black womanhood, culture both pop and past, bodies, minds.” —Literary Hub
Praise for There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé:
A Time Magazine Best Paperback of 2017
One of O Magazine's Ten Best Books of 2017
“This singular poetry collection is a dynamic meditation on the experience of, and societal narratives surrounding, contemporary black womanhood . . . these exquisite poems defy categorization.” —The New Yorker
“Morgan Parker''s bombastic second book profoundly expresses a black millennial consciousness with anger and appetite.” —NPR.org
“[A] brash, risqué collection that explores what it means to be a black woman in contemporary American culture.” —The Washington Post
“Parker’s poems bring heat to the art of Mickalene Thomas, the racial politics of Barack Obama’s presidency, the body politics of Beyoncé and the danger of moving through America in a black body.” —Time