Novel by Glodean Champion Explores Gender Non-Conformity, Racism, the 1965 Watts Riots, and the Resilience of the Black Community
Set against the backdrop of racism and everyday police brutality, Salmon Croquettes explores gender non-conformity, racism, the historical relevance of the 1965 Watts Riots, and the strength, resilience and interconnectedness of the Black community.
In 1965, The Circle, in Watts, Los Angeles, was a close-knit Black community, filled with its own particular joys and troubles. This vibrant neighborhood comes alive in Salmon Croquettes, as 12-year-old 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 acceptable and what isn't - to an acceptance of who she is and the truth of who her parents really are.
“This accomplished novel will keep you turning the page and rooting for this young, full of spunk protagonist. Glodean Champion has written a novel that will capture the hearts of many, including young African American girls who identify outside of the traditional, “pink-frilly girl norm.” A must read.”
~ Opal Palmer Adisa, author of Love’s Promise
Glodean Champion is a Los Angeles-born storyteller, coach, and educator now living in Monterey, CA. With a BA in English Literature from Mills College in Oakland and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts in San Francisco she strives to explore sexuality and gender non-conformity, racism, and the beauty and strength of the Black (African American) spirit and community in her writing. She is a Voices of Our Nation Arts (VONA) Foundation and Hurston-Wright Foundation alum. Salmon Croquettes is her first novel.
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by Glodean Champion