May 8 2021
The Black Flamingo, by Dean Atta
Title: The Black Flamingo
Author: Dean Atta
Genre/ issues: YA. Verse novel. Queer fiction. Trans identity.
I’ve had this book on my TBR for a while. I’m not quite sure what made me toss it in my suitcase whilst frantically packing the other night, but I’m very glad I did! The Black Flamingo is a fantastic verse novel by @deanatta. At its core, it’s about identify – how other people see us, how we see ourselves, and how we shape and define our relationship with both of these viewpoints. Mike is biracial, queer, raised by a single mother and ignored by an absent father, and throughout the course of 19 years in the narrative we see him question his own interests and the way that these are seen by those around him. From barbie dolls to flamingo toys to beards and feather boas, Mike’s relationships with his family and friends evolve, as does how he presents himself to the world, in his desire to feel proud and fierce and free. There were a number of moments through this poetic gem that brought me to tears, and I’ll be proudly adding this one to my bookshelf rather than adding it to my donations pile. I should have listened earlier when people told me I needed to read it- lesson learned, I guess!