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Queenie
Cover of Queenie
Queenie
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ONE OF TIME'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF 2019

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019 BY WOMAN'S DAY, NEWSDAY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, BUSTLE, AND BOOK RIOT!

"[B]rilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking." —Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

Bridget Jones's Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.
Queenie Jenkins is a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she's constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places...including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, "What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?"—all of the questions today's woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With "fresh and honest" (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today's world.
ONE OF TIME'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF 2019

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019 BY WOMAN'S DAY, NEWSDAY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, BUSTLE, AND BOOK RIOT!

"[B]rilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking." —Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

Bridget Jones's Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.
Queenie Jenkins is a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she's constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places...including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, "What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?"—all of the questions today's woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With "fresh and honest" (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today's world.
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About the Author-
  • Candice Carty-Williams is a senior marketing executive at Vintage. In 2016, she created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, which aims to find, champion, and celebrate underrepresented writers. She contributes regularly to i-D, Refinery29, BEAT Magazine, and more, and her pieces, especially those about blackness, sex, and identity, have been shared globally. Queenie is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @CandiceC_W.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2018
    The life and loves of Queenie Jenkins, a vibrant, troubled 25-year-old Jamaican Brit who is not having a very good year." 'My last girlfriend was black.' I looked at my date and blinked, sure I'd misheard him. 'Sorry?' I asked, leaning across the table." But indeed, that's what he said. Just as she heard correctly when "Balding Alpha," a guy she dates later in her annus horribilus, licks her shoulder and comments, "Tastes like chocolate." Queenie's attempts to get over Tom, the long-term white boyfriend who dumps her at the beginning of Carty-Williams' debut novel, send her stumbling through a mined landscape of interracial dating and friendship, including the occasional white stranger who reaches to fondle her hair as if in a petting zoo. Terrified by the continual news of violence from the United States, Queenie is trying to get the paper she works for in London to cover important issues--"I'd wanted this job so that I could be a force for change"--but her editor responds to her pitches by suggesting a piece on "ten of the best black dresses Me Too movement supporters have worn at awards ceremonies." After all, it's the holiday season, and what people are really thinking about is party dresses! Queenie's main supporters are the three girlfriends who make up a texting group called The Corgis (a reference to the queen's loyal pack of pooches), but one of these relationships is about to detonate due to our heroine's wildly indiscriminate sexual choices, choices that keep her running in and out of the health clinic on a biweekly basis. At least she'll always be able to fall back on the judgmental embrace and reliable hot water of her ultratraditional Jamaican grandparents. Why she ever fell for that drip Tom and why she still loves him so much are never at all clear, but perhaps that's how these things go.A black Bridget Jones, perfectly of the moment.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    March 1, 2019

    DEBUT This long-awaited first novel from Carty-Williams presents an updated take on Bridget Jones's Diary with the story of 25-year-old newspaper editor Queenie Jenkins and her Jamaican British family. In the midst of a prolonged breakup with boyfriend Tom, Queenie experiences a miscarriage and begins to feel adrift. Carty-Williams creates a fast-paced narrative in the form of texts between Queenie and close friends Kyazike, Darcy, and Cassandra. Interspersed are chapters set in both the past and the present, focusing on the beginnings of Queenie's unstable dating history, particularly being fetishized for her ethnicity, along with her evolving relationship with Tom and the racism she experiences from his family. The author takes care when including flashbacks to Queenie's difficult childhood and current efforts to incorporate social justice work into her life, and she is at her best when describing the stigma of mental health within black communities, especially as Queenie's grandparents question her decision to see a therapist. Yet we never fully understand Queenie's yearnings for Tom or why she feels continually drawn to him, and the Daniel Cleaver-inspired character, Ted, could have been better fleshed out. VERDICT Overall, a charming read for fans of women's fiction; Carty-Williams sets herself apart with her relatable and poignant writing. [See Prepub Alert, 10/1/18.]--Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal

    Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from February 15, 2019
    Asked by her boyfriend, Tom, to move out, estranged from her mother, and beyond bored at work, Jamaican British Queenie is having a rough go. Add to that the miscarriage she just went through, thoroughly alone, and it's no wonder she needs her best friends to hold her up right now, in the form of an active group text. When Tom continues to ignore her and she attempts to mute her sorrows with the attention of altogether disappointing men, Queenie soon finds herself suffering panic attacks and forced to move in with her strict grandparents. London-based publishing executive Carty-Williams creates an utterly knowable character in Queenie, who's as dimensional and relatable as they come as she tries to balance her own desires with what everyone else seems to want for her. Flashbacks show the dissolution of her and Tom's love?and why it's so hard for her to accept?and reveal the reasons for her distance from her mother. Fast moving and with a strong sense of Queenie's London, this entertains while tackling topics like mental health and stigma, racism and tokenism, gentrification, and the isolation of social-media and dating-app culture. This smart, funny, and tender debut embraces a modern woman's messiness.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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