by Candice Carty-Williams
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020
‘Heartbreaking, funny, fresh and modern all at once’ – Cat at Head Office
‘A beautifully emotional, joyful, fist-punching-the-air book’ – Hannah Kate at Liverpool One
‘A powerhouse debut novel’ – Martyn at Finchley Road
Published on a wave of critical acclaim – and breathless enthusiasm from our booksellers – Candice Carty-Williams’ luminous debut is a joy-filled, painfully funny coming-of-age story set in modern Britain. Fabulous but flawed, defiant but vulnerable, Queenie Jenkins is one of the great fictional creations of the twenty-first century, and her story is, by turns, hilariously funny, dramatic and movingly tender.
Caught between the Jamaican British family who don’t seem to understand her, a job that’s not all it promised and a man she just can’t get over, Queenie’s life seems to be steadily spiralling out of control. Desperately trying to navigate her way through a hot mess of shifting cultures and toxic relationships and emerge with a shred of dignity, her missteps and misadventures will provoke howls of laughter and tears of pity – frequently on the same page.
Tackling issues as diverse as mental health, race, class and consent with a light yet sure touch, Queenie is refreshingly candid, delightfully compassionate and bracingly real. The perfect fable for a frenetic and confusing time, Carty-Williams’ stellar novel is undoubtedly one of the year’s most exciting debuts and announces its author as a fresh and vibrant new voice in British literature.