A Phoenix First Must Burn
Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic. With stories by: Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Patrice Caldwell, Dhonielle Clayton, J. Marcelle Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, L. L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.
Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.
Praise for A Phoenix First Must Burn
”Lovers of Octavia Butler will find her spirit in this smoldering anthology . . . These stories [explore] the beauty, bravery, fear, history, and empowerment of being black. Fiercely fantastical and achingly honest, this book delivers a more inclusive means of self-discovery.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Sixteen #ownvoices authors offer up fantasy and science fiction short stories centering black girls . . . All these well-spun tales are enjoyable and accessible to readers of any background. Magical and real, this collection lives up to its goal with stories as diverse as the black experience.#BlackGirlMagic indeed.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
”Featuring an array of well-known and breakout #OwnVoices authors, this volume boasts ample variety in style, voice, and approach that ensures readers will find at least one story to enjoy (though likely many more) . . . Readers will appreciate the wide representation of the African diaspora and will also take note of the multiplicities of lived experiences, cultures, and gendered and sexual expression. That the stories center Black girlhood creates layers of depth in these racialized and gendered experiences alongside the joys and trivialities of stories often missing from the mainstream. Luminous reading.”–Booklist, starred review
”Each story is satisfying to read by itself, yet more powerful when read together as there is an evenness in the narratives which is not frequently found in most short story collections. Like the best short stories, each jumps right into the action and character growth is demonstrated quickly. There are twists and turns aplenty to be found between the covers of this book. This is an outstanding collection, with an evenness to its stories, unique characters, and a wide range of tales.”–School Library Connection, starred review