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Patsy: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 425 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
- Jenna Bush Hager, NBC's TODAY #ReadWithJenna Book Club Selection
"Nicole Dennis-Benn carefully unspools the stories behind each wound over the long course of this richly imagined novel... [she] beautifully illustrates how the characters are connected to one another by love, desire and violence, and how they bear those histories permanently, both within and on their bodies. [Patsy] continually and subtly defies predictability as it tells a vital and remarkable life story.... I never knew what turn the story would take next, how the past would reassert itself, what alliances and rifts would form, where love would fail and where it would unexpectedly appear. Again and again, Patsy surprises and illuminates."
- Chelsey Johnson, New York Times
"Sumptuous... Dennis-Benn ingeniously humanizes and changes up the typical immigrant saga... The result is a knowing, at times painfully funny novel about the disorienting relationship between selfhood and sacrifice."
- O, The Oprah Magazine
"Stunning…. Patsy fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness."
- Joshunda Sanders, TIME
"Admirers of Here Comes the Sun have waited three years for Dennis-Benn's followup, and anyone who was enchanted by her gorgeous writing are in for a happy surprise: Patsy isn't just as good as its predecessor, it's somehow even better.... Dennis-Benn isn't just a compassionate writer, she's also a courageous one, unafraid to address topics that too often go ignored. And in Patsy and Tru, she's managed to create two unforgettable characters who function as real people and not literary archetypes. Dennis-Benn is quickly becoming an indispensable novelist, and Patsy is a brave, brilliant triumph of a book."
- Michael Schaub, NPR
"Nicole Dennis-Benn’s sophomore novel, Patsy, methodically and unapologetically engages with choices women do and should be allowed to make, and as with her last novel, Here Comes the Sun, does so with nuance and grace.... Patsy is a deeply queer, sensitive and vividly written novel about a woman’s right to want and a child’s right to carve her own path."
- Ilana Masad, Washington Post
"Dennis-Benn writes about the immigrant experience with abiding, bone-deep empathy―swinging between standard English and patois the same way that Patsy and her daughter navigate their own need to code-switch as the years pass. Estranged from one another and bound to a world that tends to treat black womanhood and queer sexuality as invisible at best, their separate but intertwined stories wend through hurt and hope and inalienable dreams; not just for a better life, but a truly honest one."
- Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
"Brilliant… [Dennis-Benn] writes with keen awareness of what others experience living undocumented in America―and the compromises that women make in order to prioritize themselves."
"Dennis-Benn gives her characters the dose of happiness and self-assurance that many stories about social ills refuse women like them. She does that without facilely wishing away the big issues―racism, homophobia, gender, classism―that her novel tackles. Patsy is a portrait of black queer women grasping for self-determination, and a challenge to the conventions of what is expected of good mothers and good women and good immigrants.... In writing beautifully about that unending struggle, Dennis-Benn finds a way to extend to black girls and women some of the love that the world may never offer."
- Adrienne Green, The Atlantic
"While Patsy highlights the profound, and often unseen, sacrifices made in immigrants’ lives in America, it also emphasizes the struggles of those who are LGBTQIA+.... In the end, Dennis-Benn touches upon the question of whether or not America is even still the promised land for all identities seeking freedom from persecution."
- C.E. Miller, Bustle --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- File size : 2674 KB
- Publication date : June 4, 2019
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Liveright; Reprint edition (June 4, 2019)
- Print length : 425 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07JR65TPX
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #185,012 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Many women leave their children to migrate, They feel they have no choice, and, sometimes they don't. They are running away from one kind of hardship or another. These left behind children are, in Jamaica, called 'barrel children'. They are left with family or friends; with promises from the mother to 'send money'. The mothers mostly do try, but when the barrels come, the 'so called 'fam/friend' gives their own children the best from the barrel, and the money sent goes, guess where. Many suffer all types of abuses. It is speculated that much of the violence in Jamaica is a result of boys without mothers (where are the fathers)! They are the lured into a life of violence. The gang becomes the family.
The novel seems preoccupied with sex. It is a rocky and dangerous road, when sex and its cousin love rule the head. Sense seem to disappear, leaving sorrow and regret, as Patsy learns.
I am a Jamaican woman, and a legal immigrant. I understand what Pasty went through. You have to be an immigrant to truly understand the painful loneliness of moving to a strange land and leaving family and all that is familiar behind. I came alone at 20 years old to NYC. Just thinking of it brings a pain. But, we stick it; we believe this life will be better. Sometimes, it is, sometimes, it is not : dreams quickly crumble under the weight of reality.
It is a good read, the dialect at times was distracting, but brought authenticity to the characters. A glossary for readers who many not know the dialect would have been helpful and perhaps expose the book to a wider audience. (there speaks a Librarian). Still, if needs be, one can go to search engine 'Bing' and get an explanation.
I hope the book sells nuff copies.
Felt incomplete throughout, confusing at times, and rushed at the end. The “political kisses” were unnecessary, and made me itch, but at least there were only a few.
I just couldn’t grasp the whole leaving your kid for 10 years, saying you couldn’t love her...until, what, you admitted your sexuality? Then you could? But yet, throughout, there is such guilt about the daughter...it just doesn’t ring true.
I can’t begin to understand why this woman and others wouldn’t try to find a way to stay legally, so they could send things home. I get it’s hard-but she doesn’t even try-while she beats herself up about leaving her daughter, who she “can’t love,” and about not sending her things...
She talks and talks about it, but never gives satisfying answers as to why she can’t or won’t go home, better herself, try to find a way to become legal—I know people in this situation, and this telling sells the situation so short. The attitude and total laziness instead of trying to keep to her word just makes me resent the main character.
The daughter’s story doesn’t feel real, either. I love how her story shows what living in Jamaica’s less-than-desirable neighborhoods might be like. As for Tru’s story, which should have much more detail, we go from sad little girl to very disturbed, self-mutilating young woman without enough insight as to how she unraveled more and more, as her mother stayed away. The author seems to try to point it all on the mom leaving, then on the sexuality, and on her being a bit of a social outcast-but it never comes together with a realistic, much less satisfying, explanation or conclusion.
Also, there are a few brief sentences here and there-such as one that says something about how the workers in the girls’ school have to “clean the menstrual blood off the girls’ toilets-“ sounds like a cheap way to get a little gasp. The lovemaking scenes, I get. Those other few-unrelated and annoying.
As a whole, ok, but too wordy in many parts, and I feel like what could’ve been a deep read about mother-daughter, sexuality, and a struggling immigrant, wrapped up too fast and too pretty and left me flat.
Top reviews from other countries
Nicole touches on themes of immigration, motherhood, love, rejection, identity crisis, resilience, forgiveness and so much more.
The novel takes place in Jamaica and America.
A great page-turner of a novel and one I would highly recommend.