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Episode 38 - Nicole Dennis-Benn

Photo Credit: Jason Berger

We're coming off of our spring hiatus with one of our favorite authors. Nicole Dennis-Benn first came on ReadMore in 2017 when she was promoting her award-winning debut novel, Here Comes the Sun. (If you haven't read it yet, rectify that as soon as possible.)

Her new book, Patsy, was published earlier this month. It's about a young woman from Jamaica who leaves her five-year-old daughter, Tru, behind to pursue a new life in the United States. Patsy is chasing what she believes will be greater opportunities and a chance at love with her secret childhood girlfriend, Cicely. But when Patsy moves to Brooklyn things don't go exactly as planned. Meanwhile, Tru is adjusting to life without her mother. As the years go by, Tru, who is gender nonconforming, struggles to come to terms with her own sexuality and how she fits into the world.

Patsy gives readers an unflinching look into what life is like for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The novel also explores society's expectations for mothers and what happens when women step outside of that traditional role.

Nicole and I recently sat down to chat about her work in the lobby of her hotel in Key West, where she was teaching a week-long class for young writers.

Interview Highlights:

Nicole reveals...

- Why she finds mother-daughter relationships so fascinating

- How the characters of Patsy and Tru came to her

- The writers whose work she feels is in conversation with hers

Click here to listen to the podcast.

We'll send a free, signed copy of Patsy to the first listener to tell us the book Nicole is reading right now. You can tweet us the answer or write it on our Facebook page.

If you have won a ReadMore giveaway in the last 90 days, you're ineligible. If you and I ever attended a work retreat together, you're probably ineligible. ReadMore doesn't have a friends and family plan. But we'll always have the memories of those awkward team-building exercises.

You can support the show and Nicole when you buy either Here Comes the Sun through the link above or when you purchase Patsy here.

EDITED TO ADD: On July 3, a lucky listener (@che_cherose318) answered our trivia question on Twitter to win a free, signed copy of Patsy.

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