This powerhouse YA anthology is a sci-fi/fantasy exploration of the experiences of Black women and gender-nonconforming individuals, with settings ranging from folklore to Afrofuturism. The 16 exquisite stories in this collection (from astronomically talented authors of color including Elizabeth Acevedo, Justina Ireland, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Ibi Zoboi) will stick with you long after you finish reading; editor/author Patrice Caldwell is one to watch. Recommended By Madeline S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.
With stories by: Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Patrice Caldwell, Dhonielle Clayton, J. Marcelle Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, L. L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.
Evoking Beyoncé's Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler's heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.
"...a wonderful assortment of genre-bending narratives. The stories allow readers to view racism and gender conformity through the prism of science fiction and fantasy, and the collection infuses the genre with color and complexity." School Library Journal
"Readers will appreciate the wide representation of the African diaspora and will also take note of the multiplicities of lived experiences, cultures, and gendered and sexual expression....Luminous reading." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Magical and real, this collection lives up to its goal with stories as diverse as the black experience. #BlackGirlMagic indeed." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Patrice Caldwell is a graduate of Wellesley College and the founder and fundraising chair of People of Color in Publishing — a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting, empowering, and uplifting racially and ethnically marginalized members of the book publishing industry. Born and raised in Texas, Patrice was a children's book editor before shifting to writing full-time.
In 2018, she was named a Publishers Weekly Star Watch honoree and featured on The Writer's Digest podcast, PBS's MetroFocus, and Bustle's inaugural "Lit List" as one of 10 women changing the book world.
She currently lives in New York City in an apartment overflowing with tea and books and is obsessed with purple lipstick. Visit her online at patricecaldwell.com, Twitter @whimsicallyours, and Instagram @whimsicalaquarian.