Publication Date: 09/03/2023 ISBN: 9781529073232 Category:

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Danielle Evans

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 09/03/2023 ISBN: 9781529073232 Category:
Paperback / Softback




‘Fiercely independent, all of Evans’s characters struggle for a place in a world intent of fencing them out.’ – New York Times Book Review

The extraordinary debut short story collection from Danielle Evans, one of the United States’ foremost literary talents, is published in the UK for the first time.

A college student’s unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront her feelings of resentment toward her more privileged classmates. A father’s misguided attempt to rescue a gift for his adult daughter magnifies all he doesn’t know about her. And two teenage girls’ flirt with adulthood leads to disastrous consequences.

Based in a world where inequality is reality, but where the shifting terrain of adolescence and family are the most complicating forces, Evans’ characters are wry, wise and utterly original. Striking in their emotional immediacy, the electrifying, prize-winning stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self offer a fresh perspective on race and class in contemporary America.

‘Danielle Evans is funny as hell’ – Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine

‘Knife-sharp wit and tender but unflinching eye’ – V.V. Ganeshananthan, author of Love Marriage

Publisher Review

Danielle Evans's whipsmart first story collection charts the liminal years between childhood and the condition dubiously known as being a grown-up. * New York Times Book Review * There are books that capture our world perfectly, like a scrim over a stage. And then there are books that surprise the audience and go somewhere new, somewhere completely unpredictable. In this collection, Evans paints a picture, sometimes ripping through the fabric. One wonders where she will go next. * Boston Globe * Danielle Evans' blisteringly smart short stories offer fresh perspective on being young and black in America. From a vandalizing valedictorian to a rejected biracial child, her characters triumph by surviving without forgetting. * Time * The most vivid characters in Danielle Evans's story collection are in-betweeners: between girlhood and womanhood; between the black middle class and Ivy League privilege; between iffy boyfriends and those even less reliable; between an extended family and living on your own. To say they're caught between worlds isn't quite accurate, though; they tend to be hard-headed, sadder but wiser and, most of all, funny. * The New York Times * I hope Danielle Evans is a very nice person because that might be her only defense against other writers' seething envy . . . Again and again, without any histrionics, but with a clear appreciation for the natural drama of our mundane lives, Evans frames such questions in a way that will resonate with any thoughtful reader. * Washington Post * This striking debut collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self offers rich slices of African-American life . . . [Evans's] stories are bolstered by memorable images . . . Evans's book, meanwhile, carries a strong scent of freshness and promise. * Entertainment Weekly * Danielle Evans's considerable talents are in evidence on every page of this impressive debut. She finds her often surprising dramatic material in the unexpected asides of modern life, with results that are intense, intelligent, humane, and funny. I look forward to reading more. -- Daniel Alarcon, author of Lost City Radio Evans's knife-sharp wit and tender but unflinching eye create a range of characters who are entirely sympathetic, even as they tumble headlong into their own mistakes. -- V.V. Ganeshananthan, author of Love Marriage Danielle Evans is funny as hell. Which only makes all the heartbreak in these stories more surprising and satisfying. The young women in this collection are always on the edge of real trouble but don't be fooled, they're the dangerous ones. Written with wonderful clarity and a novelist's sense of scope, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self is a fabulous literary debut. -- Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine Danielle Evans's stories are fresh, arresting, real. The young women and men in them could be sitting across from you on the subway or strolling past you on a college campus. And the young woman who brings them to us is a writer to watch. -- Martha Southgate, author of The Fall of Rome Quietly magnetic, Evans's voice draws us into richly-charged worlds where innocence isn't lost but escaped, and where pieces of the past reassemble in the present with the inevitable geometry of kaleidoscope glass. -- Sana Krasikov, author of One More Year

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