Glodean Champion's Debut Novel Explores Gender Non-Conformity, Racial Injustice, and Police Brutality

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In 1965, “The Circle” in Watts, Los Angeles, was filled with its own particular joys and troubles. This vibrant neighborhood comes alive in Glodean Champion’s debut novel, Salmon Croquettes, a heartwarming, humorous, and sometimes heartbreaking, young adult novel that brilliantly exposes the strength and resilience of a 12-year-old girl struggling to find her identity amidst a community fighting for equality.

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“Glodean Champion has written a novel that will capture the hearts of many, including young Black girls who identify outside of the traditional “pink-frilly girl” norm. A must read.”

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Zayla Lucille McKinney grapples with the confusion of feeling like a boy trapped in a girl's body. Is she what the other girls call her, a "bulldagger"? And what does that even mean? In the midst of her transformation from tomboy to young woman, the community she loves explodes in a racial uprising. The Watts Riots teach Zayla the fragility of life and the importance of friendship. As the embers die down and the smoke clears, Zayla also learns something else, a family secret. Salmon Croquettes is a sensitive exploration of Zayla's transition from childhood incomprehension – why do adults expect children to magically understand what is not acceptable? – to an acceptance of who she is and the truth of who her parents really are.

“Glodean Champion has written a novel that will capture the hearts of many, including young Black girls who identify outside of the traditional “pink-frilly girl” norm. A must read.”

“I absolutely loved this book in so many different ways: from Zayla’s struggle inside her body, dealing with the cruelty of mean kids at school, having a cold mother, and the distress of living in Watts during the summer of 1965. Thankfully, she has excellent role models who try to give her advice and guidance. I highly recommend this page turner. It’s heartwarming and, at the same time, heartbreaking. Ever so relevant for these times.”

Glodean Champion is a Los Angeles-born storyteller, coach, and educator now living in Monterey, CA . She has a BA in English Literature from Mills College in Oakland and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Champion explores sexuality, gender, racism, and the beauty and strength of the Black spirit in her writing. She is a Voices of Our Nation Arts (VONA) Foundation and Hurston-Wright Foundation alum. Salmon Croquettes is her debut novel and available wherever books are sold.

Black Muse Publishing is a small press committed to publishing culturally conscious, spiritually enlightening, and socially engaging artistic expression.

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Lori Johnson
@GlodeanGlo
since: 06/2009
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