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.
Stunning…. Patsy fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness.
—Joshunda Sanders, TIME
Although she’s lovingly drawn by Dennis-Benn, Patsy has done the single most-damning thing a mother can do in our society: She has abandoned her child. 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)
Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun, 2016) builds big worlds inside and outside her touchable characters, writing through their knotty love in all its failures and mercies in this empathetic intergenerational epic of womanhood and inheritance.
—Annie Bostrom, Booklist (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 Jamaican woman abandons her daughter for a chance to reunite with her childhood friend turned lover in this wrenching second novel from Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun)…. An immersive study in unintended consequences…. This is a marvelous novel.
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
One of my favourite novels of 2017 was easily Nicole Dennis-Benn’s first novel, Here Comes the Sun, and when her second, Patsy, was announced, I almost lost my mind. The richness of Dennis-Benn’s writing is taken to another level in Patsy, the story of a Jamaican woman working towards her own version of the American dream…. Dennis-Benn explores in such a textured, taut way what in love is gained, and what, or who, is left behind…. Bliss.
—Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie: A Novel
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
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
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