Big Girl: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Exquisitely compassionate and witty, Big Girl traces the intergenerational hungers and desires of Black womanhood, as told through the unforgettable voice of Malaya Clondon.

In her highly anticipated debut novel, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan explores the perils—and undeniable beauty—of insatiable longing.

Growing up in a rapidly changing Harlem, eight-year-old Malaya hates when her mother drags her to Weight Watchers meetings; she’d rather paint alone in her bedroom or enjoy forbidden street foods with her father. For Malaya, the pressures of her predominantly white Upper East Side prep school are relentless, as are the expectations passed down from her painfully proper mother and sharp-tongued grandmother. As she comes of age in the 1990s, she finds solace in the music of Biggie Smalls and Aaliyah, but her weight continues to climb—until a family tragedy forces her to face the source of her hunger, ultimately shattering her inherited stigmas surrounding women’s bodies, and embracing her own desire. Written with vibrant lyricism shot through with tenderness, Big Girl announces Sullivan as an urgent and vital voice in contemporary fiction.

About the Author

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is an associate professor of English at Georgetown University, and the author of Blue Talk and Love, winner of the Judith A. Markowitz Award from Lambda Literary. A native of Harlem, she lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Praise For…

[A] young girl learns—and redefines—what it means to take up space . . . Sullivan writes with tenderness and uses the language of poetry to communicate her protagonist’s inner life . . . A lyrical and important coming-of-age novel.
— Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781324091417
ISBN-10: 132409141X
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: July 12th, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English