A teen girl hiding the scars of a past relationship finds home and healing in the words of strong Black writers. A beautiful sophomore novel from a critically acclaimed author and poet that explores how words have the power to shape and uplift our world even in the midst of pain.
When Darius told Angel he loved her, she believed him.
Angel feels out of sync with the rhythms of her new neighborhood. At school, she can’t shake the feeling everyone knows what happened—and how it was her fault. The only place that makes sense is Ms. G’s class. And as Angel becomes immersed in her revolutionary literature course, the words of Black writers like Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston speak to her and begin to heal the wounds of her past.
Award-winning author Mahogany L. Browne weaves together prose, poems, and vignettes to tell the story of Angel, a young woman whose past was shaped by domestic violence but whose love of language and music and the gift of community grant her the chance to find herself again.
About the Author
Mahogany L. Browne, selected as Kennedy Center's Next 50, is the executive director of JustMedia, artistic director of Urban Word, a writer, playwright, organizer, and educator. Browne has received fellowships from Arts for Justice, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research, and Rauschenberg. She is the author of recent works: Vinyl Moon, Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, and Black Girl Magic. Founder of the diverse lit initiative Woke Baby Book Fair, Browne's latest poetry collection Chrome Valley (Norton) is a promissory note to survival. She is the first-ever poet-in-residence at the Lincoln Center and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Praise for Vinyl Moon: “Powerful and life-affirming.” —Brendan Kiely, New York Times bestselling co-author of All American Boys
“Interweave[s] poetry and prose... portraying with nuance a group of Brooklyn teens unpacking their traumas and finding their joy.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A beautiful love letter to Brooklyn, Black authors, and the beats that create the soundtrack of a young life evolving.” –Kirkus Reviews
Browne’s bold imagining of robust support systems, reliable friendships, and assertive self-discovery offers a thoughtful roadmap for teens navigating tough times.” –The Bulletin
"An important asset for all school and library collections.” –SLJ
Praise for Chlorine Sky: "A remarkable, compelling voice that will draw readers both reluctant and eager and make them want to hear more." –The Bulletin, Starred Review
"A coming-of-age novel for Black girls who have been told they’re too much and yet never enough." –Kirkus Reviews