by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Pub Date 04 Jun 2019
Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #Patsy #NetGalley
From nationally celebrated novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn, a brave, stirring portrait of a Jamaican woman who leaves her daughter behind for a new life in America.
When Patsy gets her long-coveted visa to America, it’s the culmination of years of yearning to be reunited with Cicely, her oldest friend and secret love, who left home years before for the “land of opportunity.” Patsy’s plans do not include her religious mother or even her young daughter, Tru, both of whom she leaves behind in a bittersweet trail of sadness and relief.
But Brooklyn is not at all what Cicely described in her letters, and to survive as an undocumented immigrant, Patsy is forced to work as a bathroom attendant, and ironically, as a nanny. Meanwhile, back in Jamaica, Tru struggles with her own questions of identity and sexuality, grappling every day with what it means to be abandoned by a mother who has no intention of returning.
Passionate, moving, and fiercely urgent, Patsy is a haunting depiction of immigration and womanhood, and the silent threads of love stretching across years and oceans.
About the Author: Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of Here Comes the Sun, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Lambda Literary Award. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, she teaches at Princeton and lives with her wife in Brooklyn. Her website is www.nicoledennisbenn.com.
A Note From the Publisher
LibraryReads votes due by 5/1.
"Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun, 2016) builds big worlds inside and outside of her touchable characters, writing through their knotty love in all its failures and mercies in this empathic intergenerational epic of womanhood and inheritance." - Booklist, Starred Review
"It's a marker of Dennis-Benn's masterful prowess at characterization and her elegant, nuanced writing that the people here—even when they're flawed or unlikable—inspire sympathy and respect. Dennis-Benn has written a profound book about sexuality, gender, race, and immigration that speaks to the contemporary moment through the figure of a woman alive with passion and regret." - Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Nicole Dennis-Benn is an exquisite writer who paints scenes with words so vivid you might as well be walking through it as a character, not a reader. In Patsy, she addresses motherhood, sexuality, racism, and colorism; turning her prodigious talents to the timely story of an undocumented immigrant straddling two worlds while learning that love isn’t a choice, but the beat in one’s blood.” - Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things
“A stunningly powerful inter-generational novel about the price—the ransom really— women must pay to choose themselves, their lives, their value, their humanity. Frank, funny, salty, heartbreaking, full of love, Dennis-Benn is a map-maker to those places in the heart held so closely, the holder may not know even they’re there.” - Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
“Beautiful, shattering, and deeply affecting. Patsy’s story ultimately makes for a novel that is destined to endure.” - Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen
“An aching meditation on motherhood, sacrifice, and what it means to look truth in the face in order to fully become oneself. A beautiful book, as heartbreaking as it is restorative.” - Cristina Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans
“A novel that splits at the seams with yearning, elegantly written and deeply felt. Dennis-Benn leads the reader through Patsy's life with empathy and grace.” - Esme Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias