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Unabridged Publication date: 07/02/2019

Lambda Literary Award Winner
2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist
#1 Downloaded title on Audible in LGBT Literature
Jenna Bush Hagar Book Club Pick
BuzzFeed Summer Reads
O Magazine's Best Books by Women of Summer 201


A Novel

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684419814
Digital Download ISBN:9781684419821


A beautifully layered portrait of motherhood, immigration, and the sacrifices we make in the name of love from award-winning novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn.

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Product Description

When Patsy gets her long-coveted visa to America, it comes after years of yearning to leave Pennyfield, the beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town where she was raised. More than anything, Patsy wishes to be reunited with her oldest friend, Cicely, whose letters arrive from New York steeped in the promise of a happier life and the possible rekindling of their young love. But Patsy's plans don't include her overzealous, evangelical mother—or even her five-year-old daughter, Tru.

Beating with the pulse of a long-withheld confession, Patsy gives voice to a woman who looks to America for the opportunity to choose herself first—not to give a better life to her family back home. Patsy leaves Tru behind in a defiant act of self-preservation, hoping for a new start. But when Patsy arrives in Brooklyn, America is not as Cicely's treasured letters described; to survive as an undocumented immigrant, she is forced to work as a bathroom attendant and nanny. Meanwhile, Tru builds a faltering relationship with her father back in Jamaica, grappling with her own questions of identity and sexuality.

Expertly evoking the jittery streets of New York and the languid rhythms of Jamaica, Patsy weaves between the lives of Patsy and Tru in vignettes spanning more than a decade as mother and daughter ultimately find a way back to one another.


"Gordon's precisely articulated English captures Patsy's difficulties as an undocumented immigrant who struggles to make a living and become Americanized." —AudioFile

“Gordon’s pleading and determined tones garner sympathy for Patsy’s situation. Mama G’s shrill voice rains blasphemy on Patsy.” —Booklist Audio

“Sumptuous... Dennis-Benn ingeniously humanizes and changes up the typical immigrant saga... The result is a knowing, at times painfully funny novel about the disorienting relationship between selfhood and sacrifice.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“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 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.” —Booklist Starred Review

“Stunning…. Patsy fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness.” —Joshunda Sanders, TIME

Author Bio

Nicole Dennis-Benn is a Lambda Literary Award winner and New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship recipient. She's also a finalist for the 2016 John Leonard Prize National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in New York.