What is a child's body worth when it is big, Black and female - when it is under constant demand to be something other than what it naturally is? In Mecca Jamilah Sullivan's achingly beautiful coming-of-age debut novel, Big Girl, this body carries the weight of an entire neighborhood ... Big Girl triumphs as a love letter to the Black girls who are forced to enter womanhood too early - and to a version of Harlem that no longer exists
Alive with delicious prose and the cacophony of '90s Harlem, Big Girl gifts us a heroine carrying the weight of worn-out ideas, who dares to defy the compulsion to shrink, and in turn teaches us to pursue our fullest, most desirous selves without shame
Absolutely incredible. Beautiful, powerful writing. These pages will stay with me forever'
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan has given us a gift as big, beautiful and complicated as living itself, filled with everyday people who in her gifted hands, show us the love and struggle of what it means to be inside bodies that don't always fit with the outside world. I found myself cheering for Percy, Nyela, the Harlem streets and of course, for Malaya
I ate this up in one greedy, joyous gulp. I fell in love with Malaya Clondon from the very first page. This book is hilariously funny and quietly devastating - a compelling narrative about what it means to define ourselves and make space for our bodies as women
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan has delivered a singular coming of age story. A book about the vulnerabilities of living in the body of a young Black girl, Sullivan has created a portrait of young adulthood as quietly revolutionary as Gwendolyn Brooks' Maud Martha or Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John. Resetting the conversation about girlhood, desire, bodies and appetites, this book is a revelation for those who care about the rich, varied lives of Black youth
Sullivan's talent shines most through her ability to embody character where most writers would simply observe them. The result is a thrilling, big-hearted novel by a writer of endless and remarkable promise
There are three books on earth that I would give anything to be able to write and reread until the suns burns us up. Big Girl is one of those books. The sound, the expansiveness of the whispers, the critical, brilliant, sometimes bruising, beautiful Black girlness explored in this novel is literally second to none... I know I have just read and reread a new American classic that we as a culture and country desperately need. Believe that