Septober 2022: Sunset
Two years. Fourteen boxes. One mission: to uplift BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices.For this, our final New Suns box, we're returning to the purpose of our first, which was to highlight Black writers—especially Black women writers. Each of these books has a connection to the sun, whether in title, theme, or cover design, as a parting tribute to our logo and brand.Thank you for coming on this journey with us. Though the sun is setting on New Suns, the horizon of BIPOC lit is vast, and we hope you will continue to explore it on your own.Each box comes with two prints, "Rising" and "Mother Earth," by artist Kameron White. Scroll down to read more about Kam!
Rise to the Sun
By Leah Johnson
Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQ+A stunning novel about being brave enough to be true to yourself, and learning to find joy even when times are unimaginably dark.Three days. Two girls. One life-changing music festival.Toni is grieving the loss of her roadie father and needing to figure out where her life will go from here—and she's desperate to get back to loving music. Olivia is a hopeless romantic whose heart has just taken a beating (again) and is beginning to feel like she'll always be a square peg in a round hole—but the Farmland Music and Arts Festival is a chance to find a place where she fits.The two collide and it feels like something like kismet when a bond begins to form. But when something goes wrong and the festival is sent into a panic, Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other (and music) more than they ever imagined.Read more on the author's website
Punch Me Up to the Gods
by Brian Broome
Memoir, LGBTQ+Punch Me Up to the Gods introduces a powerful new talent in Brian Broome, whose early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys propel forward this gorgeous, aching, and unforgettable debut. Brian’s recounting of his experiences—in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory—reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in.Indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use help to soothe his hurt, young psyche, usually to uproarious and devastating effect. A no-nonsense mother and broken father play crucial roles in our misfit’s origin story. But it is Brian’s voice in the retelling that shows the true depth of vulnerability for young Black boys that is often quietly near to bursting at the seams.Cleverly framed around Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool,” the iconic and loving ode to Black boyhood, Punch Me Up to the Gods is at once playful, poignant, and wholly original. Broome’s writing brims with swagger and sensitivity, bringing an exquisite and fresh voice to ongoing cultural conversations about Blackness in America.Read more on the author's website
By Jordan Ifueko
Young Adult, FantasyNothing is more important than loyalty.But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?Read more on the author's website
Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought
Edited by Briona Simone Jones
Nonfiction, LGBTQ+African American lesbian writers and theorists have made extraordinary contributions to feminist theory, activism, and writing over the past 200 years. Mouths of Rain, the companion anthology to Beverly Guy-Sheftall's classic Words of Fire, traces the long history of intellectual thought produced by Black Lesbian writers, spanning the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century.Using “Black Lesbian” as a capacious signifier, Mouths of Rain includes writing by Black women who have shared intimate and loving relationships with other women, as well as Black women who see bonding as mutual, Black women who have self-identified as lesbian, Black women who have written about Black Lesbians, and Black women who theorize about and see the word lesbian as a political descriptor that disrupts and critiques capitalism, heterosexism, and heteropatriarchy. Taking its title from a poem by Audre Lorde, Mouths of Rain, gathers writers including Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Barbara Jordan, and Audre Lorde to address pervasive issues such as misogynoir and anti-blackness while also attending to love, romance, “coming out,” and the erotic.Mouths of Rain brilliantly maps a genealogy of Black lesbian works from the pre-Harlem Renaissance to contemporary writers sparking new modes of thinking about the intellectual inheritance of Black lesbians.Read more on the publisher's website
Kameron White is a comic artist, illustrator, and designer from Houston, TX, now residing in Minneapolis, MN. He graduated with a BFA in comic art from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2018. His favorite things to create are original characters and worlds, fashion designs, and fun, eccentric stories. Within his work, he works towards displaying a diverse group. His work mainly includes People of Color, LGBTQ+ individuals, individuals of different body sizes, individuals with disabilities, and individuals of various backgrounds. He also places these characters in sceneries that are not common in history, especially Black and Brown bodies in mythological and religious imagery.As an Afro-Indigenous, queer, and disabled individual, he's been in a place where not seeing yourself represented or represented in a stereotypical light can affect you immensely. Rather than let it discourage him, it powers him to move forward and turn this scenario around, making sure people see themselves and their stories represented.He also aims to document his own story by illustrating comics going through his journey as a Black and Indigenous Trans man. With his stories, he hopes to inspire and help other people who might relate and know that there is someone who has been there too.Kam was our artist for our very first box, October 2020: Beginnings. We couldn't have started New Suns without him, and we're honored to have xem back for our last box.