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Bitter

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Akwaeke Emezi

From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution—and how youth lead the way.

Bitter is an aspiring artist who has been invited to cultivate her talents at a special school in the town of Lucille. Surrounded by other creative teens, she can focus on her painting—though she hides a secret from everyone around her. Meanwhile, the streets of Lucille are filled with social unrest. This is Lucille before the Revolution. A place of darkness and injustice. A place where a few ruling elites control the fates of the many.

The young people of Lucille know they deserve better—they aren’t willing to settle for this world that the adults say is “just the way things are.” They are protesting, leading a much-needed push for social change. But Bitter isn’t sure where she belongs—in the art studio or in the streets. And if she does find a way to help the Revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: what are the costs?

Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi looks at the power of youth, protest, and art in this timely and provocative novel, a companion to National Book Award Finalist Pet.

Praise for PET:

“The word hype was invented to describe books like this.”—Refinery29
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
“[A] beautiful, genre-expanding debut…. Pet is a nesting doll of creative possibilities.”—The New York Times
“Like [Madeleine] L’Engle, Akwaeke Emezi asks questions of good and evil and agency, all wrapped up in the terrifying and glorious spectacle of fantastical theology.”—NPR

Bitter
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