What the Fireflies Knew
Status: Forthcoming by Tiny Reparations Books (Feb 2022)
Read an excerpt of WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW, published in the Black Girlhood issue of Kweli Journal, guest edited by Nicole Dennis-Benn.
Read the press release from Penguin Random House on the imprint (and my book!).
Watch the Kweli Journal anniversary celebration, featuring a reading from the novel.
Sometimes, what you don’t know can hurt you…
One night, in a run-down house on a dead-end street in Detroit, 10-year-old Kenyatta (“KB”) finds her father dead of a drug overdose. It’s the first big secret she learns, but not the last. After her Daddy’s death, KB finds herself stranded in Lansing, Michigan for a summer with a Granddaddy she doesn’t know. Trying to break through his tough exterior is almost as tough as reconnecting with her moody older sister. KB’s only hope of companionship comes in the form of two new best friends who are dealing with a family secret of their own—a racist mother who they try to shield KB from.
Luckily, KB’s focus is elsewhere. She wants two things most of all: first, find a way back home to Momma. Second, have the perfect family she’s always dreamed of. KB is willing to do whatever it takes to be a happy family again with her Momma and sister —even if it means fighting poverty and buried family secrets, all on her own. But when she decides to keep her own big secret for the first time, it may prove too much to handle, even for KB.
Any Other Place
Maleah Dunn, a 15-year-old high school student longs to fit in with her classmates. But as one of the few black students in an all-white school, she keeps finding herself sticking out. Especially after a violent incident involving her classmate, Derrick Eddy, who she believes to be the victim of a racial hate crime. But in order to prove it, she’ll have to give up on her goal of fitting in, and accept all that comes with her identity, even as school administrators try to stop her at every turn, and fear of her own truth may even cause her to stop herself.
But First, Look Back
Jade is a twenty-something Black woman writer living in Chicago. After watching Eat, Pray, Love in a weekly “Sip ‘n Rip” event with her besties, it occurs to Jade that nothing like what happened in the movie, ever happens to a Black woman. To fix this, Jade decides to plan her own Eat, Pray, Love experience. And if she does it well, she just might land the travel writing gig she’s been eyeing. Sure, it would mean a complete departure from the screenwriting career she just finished film school for. But what’s life, without a little adventure?
The Secrets in the Middle
THE SECRETS IN THE MIDDLE tells the story of Rodney and Marlowe: a happy couple with a perfect marriage. Until one day Rodney leaves, and Marlowe is left to discover all the reasons why, and all the secrets in the middle.