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Mecca Jamilah Sullivan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Poetics of Difference (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Blue Talk and Love (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

X-24: Unclassified(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is a lauded American contemporary literature author, renowned for exploring the intellectual, emotional, and physical identities of young Black women. Her award-winning ‘Big Girl,’ would find itself a place as the top book in Essence, Time, Vulture, Ms., Goodreads,, and Library Reads, and it is only one of her notable works. 2021 was also the year that saw the publication of her widely acclaimed ‘The Poetics of Difference.’

Sullivan has been honored with a number of awards and nominations over the course of her illustrious literary career, such as the Judith Markowitz Award for her collection of short-stories, the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and the 2021 Pride Index. She has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her educational background includes her Temple University M.A. for Creative Writing and English, a PhD for English Literature after graduating from Pennsylvania University, along with her B.A. which she gained for her Afro-American focused studies which she received from the Smith College.

Her numerous short stories featured in various prestigious publications, such as American Fiction, Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, BLOOM, Kenyon Review, Feminist Studies, TriQuarterly, Baobab, the weekly DC Metro, and much much more. All of these have seen her make a name for herself, with her becoming seen as the leading authority within her particular area, carving out a real niche for herself with her fresh and insightful perspective. Her work has gone on to resonate with many, regardless of where they’re from, as she speaks to some fundamental human truths.

To name just some of her beneficiaries, Sullivan has received several different grants and fellowships, including from the Writers’ Retreat at Hedgebrook, and an inaugural fellowship for Emerging Writers. Her writing, which combines hip-hop inflected magical realism, grapples with the complexities of being a young Black woman, endearing her to scores of readers from around the world. Over a relatively short amount of time she’s fast become a household name for many worldwide.

Early and Personal Life

Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan has become a celebrated author. Her accomplishments have been recognized by various organizations, including Mellon-Mays, Williams College, Duke University, and Rutgers University, just to name but a few of her accolades.

Currently an Associate Professor tutoring in English for Georgetown University, Sullivan’s creative-writing courses center on Black feminist and queer literature, African American poetics and poetry. Her explorations of race, gender, and identity have been recognized for their originality.

At home in Washington, in DC, Sullivan remains an essential force in the African American literary landscape. Whether speaking at conferences, lectures, or panels, she never fails to challenge the conventions of writing. With her unique voice and thought-provoking work, her impact will be felt for years to come.

Writing Career

Sullivan’s debut title, Big Girl, was released in July 2022 and has already been selected for the Phenomenal Book Club pick, the New York Public Library “Book of the Day,” and the WNYC Radio 2022 Debut pick. Her short-story collection, Blue Talk and Love, was published in 2015, and her non-fiction title, The Poetics of Difference, was published in 2021.

Sullivan’s writing is highly praised, including by acclaimed authors Kiese Laymon and Janet Mock, talking about her writing as books that can be reread on countless occasion, with her writing having a timeless quality. Her work is highly anticipated, and her career as a writer is still burgeoning. Her unique and powerful voice has resonated with readers, and her writing speaks to important issues of identity, self-discovery, and freedom. Her writing has the potential to reach and touch many people, and she is sure to continue to be an important part of the literary landscape.

Big Girl

“Big Girl” is a stand-alone debut novel written by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan. It was released on July 12, 2022 by Liveright, an imprint of W. W. Norton & Company. The novel is Sullivan’s first publication with Liveright, having previously published several works with other publishers. As a fictional coming-of-age novel, it would provide a powerful testimony to the lived experiences of many African-American women growing up in the United States.

Malaya Clondon is an eight-year-old girl struggling to fit into the expectations of her family. Her mother Nyela is a professor trying to earn tenure at a prestigious university and her grandmother is sharp-tongued. The family pressures Malaya to follow fad diets and take high-cardio African dance classes. Malaya wants to paint in her bedroom or sneak out with her father for street foods instead.

Malaya is coming of age in the rapidly gentrifying 1990s Harlem and is trying to understand “ladyness” and the suffocating confines of femininity that don’t fit her body. She finds solace in music and her father’s support, but tensions are mounting as her weight increases. Nothing seems to help until a family tragedy forces her to face the source of her hunger on her own terms.

Reviewers have praised Malaya Clondon, the main character in the novel, for her courage and self-awareness. Set in the rapidly gentrifying Harlem of the 1990s, readers follow Malaya as she navigates the expectations of her family, her own coming of age, and her efforts to understand the concept of femininity. The novel’s plot is captivating and readers can likely relate to the main character’s struggles. Malaya’s journey to find solace in music and her father’s support is inspiring and ultimately serves as a reminder to readers that we can always find our own paths to happiness.

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan has made a real impact with her novel on the story of Malaya Clondon. Sullivan has tackled difficult topics, such as familial expectations and societal pressures, in an honest and empathetic way. Her thoughtful portrayal of Malaya’s journey has resonated with many readers, giving them the chance to reflect on their own experiences. Sullivan has opened up a dialogue on the expectations of femininity, and how they can be damaging to the individual. Through Malaya’s story, Sullivan has been able to bring to light these important topics and has allowed her readers to come to their own conclusions.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

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