By Candice Carty-Williams
A necessary addition to the literary canon, Candice Carty-Williams’ fiction debut Queenie widens the lens of the Black woman’s experience to include an international perspective. The novel tells the story of the titular character, Queenie, a Jamaican-Brit writer in her mid 20s, who completely disregards the notion “when you know better, you do better.” Speaking to the hearts of quirky-yet-messy women everywhere who are trying to find themselves, Queenie is recovering from a “break” from a long-term relationship in the only direction that this generation understands: a downward spiral. Filled with equal parts laugh-out-loud writing and anxiety-inducing cringe moments, Queenie is as relatable as it is annoying and frustrating. And many of Queenie’s actions are as stunning as the book’s cover artwork. Tackling self-hatred, “wokeness,” and generational taboos such as trauma and mental health issues, this books exists to make readers uncomfortable and challenge their boundaries.
Despite being praised as a combination of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Americanah, Queenie delivers a heroine unlike any other Black character in contemporary literature. It’s a memorable read sure to inspire endless, lingering discussions. (3/5)
By Bry’onna Mention
Queenie was published March 19, 2019. This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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