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The Knockout Queen

Best Seller
The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe
Paperback $16.00
Mar 02, 2021 | ISBN 9780525567295

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  • Mar 02, 2021 | ISBN 9780525567295

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  • Apr 28, 2020 | ISBN 9780525656791

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A Kirkus Fiction Writer to Discover 

“[An] electric portrait of adolescence.”

“Full of verve and sketched in colors as vibrant as a Tilt-A-Whirl David Hockney landscape.”
—Los Angeles Times

“The story of [Bunny and Michael’s] intense, beautiful, life-wrecking friendship bursts with intelligence, humor and moral insight.”
“A tender, furious ode to the connections that somehow still endure, despite everything.”
Entertainment Weekly

The Knockout Queen is a must-read.”
“Ultimately, The Knockout Queen delivers its intended punch with a complex story of friendship, family, right and wrong, and the fragility of teenage angst. The eventual resolution of Michael and Bunny’s fates is also a searing reminder of how one action can change your trajectory, putting your life on a course different from the one you imagined for yourself.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“In Thorpe’s Technicolor world, everyone is an innocent and everyone is culpable and no one is absolved, and the result is a novel both nauseatingly brutal and radically kind. Brilliantly off-kilter and vibrating with life.”
Kirkus (starred)
“Thorpe comes back swinging with her best novel yet. . . . The Knockout Queen is a moody and mordantly funny contemplation of the rigors of growing up that will leave readers reeling.”
BookPage (starred)
“Thorpe always has a way into a character that makes them known to you, of bringing small details, humor, and observation to light, that you find yourself remembering the person as if they were in your own life. . . . It allows a level of intimacy, of knowing, of actually falling in love with the flawed people who inhabit the pages. Thorpe’s gift and well-honed talent is clear, palpable, and, for me, undeniable. . . . She has reached a rare status of authors for me: I will read anything she writes.”
Martin McClellan, Seattle Review of Books
“Darkly comic and fiercely intelligent.”
Poets and Writers
“One of the most piercing, accurate portrayals of what it means to be a teenager, and figuring out who you are in the world that I’ve ever come across. . . . Thorpe’s ability to capture the ways in which we manifest psychic pain in physical ways is uncanny, and the end result is a coming-of-age novel that is unsettling and resonant in all the most important ways.”
—Kristen Iversen, Refinery 29
“[Thorpe] writes with savage poignancy as she explores identity, adolescent friendship, and the insatiable longing for intimacy. Her novel is devastatingly honest, her characters vulnerable, and her readers will be spellbound.”
“Fierce. . . . Deeply realized and complex.”
Publishers Weekly


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction FINALIST 2021

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