by Akwaeke Emezi
Alfred A. Knopf Books
From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to the critically acclaimed PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution -- and how youth lead the way.
After a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the city of Lucille.
Bitter's instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus... but her friends aren't willing to settle for a world that's so far away from what they deserve. Pulled between old friendships, her artistic passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn't sure where she belongs -- in the studio or in the streets. And if she does find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost?
This timely and riveting novel -- a companion to the National Book Award finalist Pet -- explores the power of youth, protest, and art.
"...Emezi once again deftly conjures an ethereal world in which hope is a practice, teen voice and choice are uplifted, and art is validated and lauded as a form of resistance." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"A compact, urgent, and divine novel. " -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"[A] timely[...] story with vivacious queer characters of color who have the agency to define the future for themselves and their city." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Accomplished in its use of uneasily dreamy language." -- The Horn Book
About the Author:
Akwaeke Emezi (they/them) is the author of Pet, a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, a Walter Honor Book and a Stonewall Honor Book; the New York Times bestseller The Death of Vivek Oji, which was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Award; Freshwater, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize; and most recently, Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir. Their debut poetry collection, Content Warning: Everything, is forthcoming in 2022. Selected as a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation, they are based in liminal spaces.