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Nicole Dennis-Benn Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Here Comes the Sun (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Patsy (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Nicole Dennis-Benn is an award-winning writer from Jamaica, who is popular for writing contemporary, fiction, and literary novels. She is particularly well known for her book, Here Comes the Sun, which was named as the Best Book of the Year by the NY Times. Nicole currently resides in Brooklyn and works on her future novels. She is a notable author of feminist and lesbian stories and likes to explore the themes of sexuality, gender, and Jamaican life. Author Nicole was born in 1982 in Kingston, Jamaica. She spent the early years of her life growing up in Vineyard Town and then moved to Portmore, St. Catherine along with her family. At the age of 11, she won a scholarship that gave her the opportunity to study at the prestigious St Andrew High School in Kingston. Nicole left Jamaica when she was 17 years old because of the displeasure of class and race inequalities and the little scope for success.

When Nicole expressed hopelessness in school, her mother asked her to move to New York to reside with her father and study. The peaceful atmosphere of New York allowed Nicole to feel as if she belonged there. While living in Jamaica, she used to feel that she was the country’s only lesbian. It was a common practice of the police there to ignore the mob violence against queers. Nicole was even surprised to know that there is a law in Jamaica that punishes men for having sex with other men. In the United States, Nicole attended college at the Cornell University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in the subject of Biology & Nutritional Sciences in 2003. Throughout her time in college, Nicole had kept herself indulged in writing in order to overcome the feeling of homesickness. Over a period of time, she started enjoying writing.

Nicole enrolled herself for a master’s degree in Public Health at the Michigan University and graduated in 2006 with a specialization in women’s reproductive health. After this, she joined the Mailman Public Health School at the Columbia University to work on the post of Project Manager in the Gender, Sexuality & Health Research department. After working for 4 years, she quit the job and began pursuing her passion for writing. When Nicole was employed at Columbia, she managed to take out some time and completed an MFA course in Creative Writing in 2012. Today, she serves as a faculty in Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program as well as a Visiting Faculty in the MFA program of City College. Nicole is married to Emma Benn, her lesbian partner. Their marriage in 2012 became national news and a viral sensation all over Jamaica. The media labeled it as the first lesbian marriage on the island. In spite of the danger of attack, Nicole and Emma were able to get an open venue for their wedding. Nicole describes the part of Jamaica, where her marriage took place, as a safe place for lesbian couples. She has made several engaged and committed LGBT friends there. After one year of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York, Emma and Nicole held their marriage ceremony and were supported by their family members and close friends.

Author Nicole is the winner of the Lambda Literary Award, which she won in the Lesbian Fiction category in 2017. Her first novel has featured in numerous must-read lists. Nicole has also been a finalist of a few other awards such as the Lariat, John Leonard Award, Young Lions Award, etc. In addition to writing novels, Nicole has written for many literary magazines such as The NY Times, Red Rock Review, Feminist Wire, Catapult, Kweli Literary Journal, Elle Magazine, Ebony, etc. The work of Nicole is known to challenge issues related to homophobia, young girls’ sexualization, class, and race socioeconomic disparities. In 2010, Nicole has brought her partner for visiting Jamaica, where the two were confronted with all those issues again. This experience solidified Nicole’s decision to take up writing as a career instead of practicing medicine. Many reviewers have described Nicole’s writing as harsh, engaging, and striking. The tone of her writing does all that Nicole intends to do and exposes Jamaica’s controversial underside. As of today, Nicole hopes to educate people about the important things in life through her writing and contribute towards a greater good.

The debut book written by author Nicole Dennis-Benn is entitled ‘Here Comes the Sun’. It was released by the Liveright publication in 2016. The book features the main characters in the form of Margot and Thandi. Nicole has done the plot’s setting in Montego Bay. At the book’s start, it is described the Thandi is the younger sister of Margot. In order to help Thandi go to school and complete her studies, Margot works at one of Montego Bay’s opulent resorts. Margot has been taught from a very young age that she must trade her sexuality to survive. But, she is determined not to let Thandi have the same fate. Later, the plan for building a new hotel is passed on the land covering Margot’s village. This lands the village and its people in the threat of losing their existence. However, Margot sees it as an opportunity to become financially independent. While doing so, she also ends up admitting the shocking secret that she is in love with a woman. And as the women face their community’s impending destruction, they fight to lessen the burdens on their shoulders and confront their long-hidden scars.

In this novel, Nicole has captured the distinct rhythms of the life & dialect of Jamaica and has also penned a tender hymn describing a different world among the wide turquoise seas and pristine beaches. Also, Nicole has offered a dramatic view of the passionate and vibrant world that most outsiders tend to normally see as paradise. The characters are very well described and the story is well written. This touching story tends to make the readers confront the problems and issues in their own lives. A large part of the story contains the native dialect , which adds to its authenticity. The story mainly revolves around women, depicting the hardships they face in life and how they manage to overcome them with their firm dedication and determination. It received great reviews from many critics and numerous readers all across the globe. Author Nicole was praised for her dedicated efforts in bringing up the sensitive topic of the lesbian relationship through this story.

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