Monster in the Middle: A Novel

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Penguin, Oct 19, 2021 - Fiction - 288 pages
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Reveals on every page how love can persevere and take shape over time and space.”—Boston Globe

"Transporting and deeply emotional.”Glamour


One of the most inventive and talented stylists of her generation.” Vulture

From the award-winning author of Land of Love and Drowning, an electric new novel that maps the emotional inheritance of one couple newly in love.


When Fly and Stela meet in 21st Century New York City, it seems like fate. He's a Black American musician from a mixed-religious background who knows all about heartbreak. She’s a Catholic science teacher from the Caribbean, looking for lasting love. But are they meant to be? The answer goes back decades—all the way to their parents' earliest loves.

Vibrant and emotionally riveting, Monster in the Middle moves across decades, from the U.S. to the Virgin Islands to Ghana and back again, to show how one couple's romance is intrinsically influenced by the family lore and love stories that preceded their own pairing. What challenges and traumas must this new couple inherit, what hopes and ambitions will keep them moving forward? Exploring desire and identity, religion and class, passion and obligation, the novel posits that in order to answer the question “who are we meant to be with?” we must first understand who we are and how we came to be.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - m.belljackson - LibraryThing

MONSTER explores the background parentage of the coming together of Fly and Stella. So Promising! Yet, none of the many characters resonate. Overdrawn on cursing and sex... Read full review

Monster in the Middle

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Yanique (How to Escape from a Leper Colony) inventively juxtaposes the start of a new relationship with family histories in this sumptuous saga. Fly Lovett meets Stela Jones in early 2020 during the ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

LOVE LETTER
1
THE SPECIAL WORLD
87
STELA
115
MONSTER IN THE MIDDLE
133
BELLY OF THE WHALE
141
EXPERIENTIAL STUDIES
161
SESTINA
217
MEETING THE MONSTER
233
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About the author (2021)

Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the award-winning novel Land of Love and Drowning, as well as the short story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony. Winner of the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel award, and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Award and a Fulbright scholarship. Her short fiction has been published in The New Yorker and anthologized in Best American Short Stories 2020. Originally from the Virgin Islands, she now lives in Atlanta, where she is a professor at Emory University.

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