By Cherry Muhanji
With a new Afterword by Mattie U. Richardson
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for
Best Lesbian Debut
Winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for Fiction
This is a story about Detroit in the late fifties/early sixties and the Black women and men who came North to work the lines of the Ford Motor plant. It’s a story about John R. Street, the Harlem of Detroit, where they spent their nights trying to forget their days—at the Frolic and Flame Showbars, playing Mr. Ben’s numbers, sitting on stoops reminiscing about the days of their youth in the South. Irreverent and poetic, this daring novel explores relationships among Black women of different generations and places who, above all, teach each other how to survive—not on men or money but on the courage to move a long ways in tight spaces.
A skillful creator of scenes and characters, Muhanji explores in richly textured prose the complexities of relationships—particularly the intricacies of black lesbian and gay lives…celebrating both individual identity and community strength…an excellent offering from a strong writer.
Her is a technically flawless, robust novel written with passion and a keen observation of the human condition by an author of both talent and insight. The characters are as memorable as their stories—and their stories are timeless.
— Midwest Book Review
Her is a novel whose words refuse to be constrained by the boundaries of its pages. Like jazz that reaches out to both heart and gut, it is deep, throaty and rich; its language and characters wail, leap, glide and moan. From a central core of strong women characters, Cherry Muhanji experiments and elaborates, playing variations, solos, and combinations up and down the register. Her creation is both eye-opening and sensual.
— Erica Bauermeister, 500 Great Books by Women