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June 20 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Praise for Patsy
“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
Beating with the pulse of a long-witheld confession, Patsy gives voice to a woman who looks to America for the opportunity to choose herself first–not to give a better life to her family back home. Patsy leaves Tru behind in a defiant act of self-preservation, hoping for a new start where she can be, and love, whomever she wants. But when Patsy arrives in Brooklyn, America is not as Cicely’s treasured letters described; to survive as an undocumented immigrant, she is forced to work as a bathroom attendant and nanny. Meanwhile, Tru builds a faltering relationship with her father back in Jamaica, grappling with her own questions of identity and sexuality, and trying desperately to empathize with her mother’s decision.
Expertly evoking the jittery streets of New York and the languid rhythms of Jamaica, Patsy weaves between the lives of Patsy and Tru in vignettes spanning more than a decade as mother and daughter ultimately find a way back to one another.
As with her masterful debut, Here Comes the Sun, Nicole Dennis-Benn once again charts the geography of a hidden world–that of a paradise lost, swirling with the echoes of lilting patois, in which one woman fights to discover her sense of self in a world that tries to define her. Passionate, moving, and fiercely urgent, Patsy is a prismatic depiction of immigration and womanhood, and the lasting threads of love stretching across years and oceans.