Randi Black has worked as a phone sex operator, cashier, writing tutor, and librarian. She holds an MFA and an MSLIS, and is responsible for the controversial debut novel, Miss World. For now, she lives in Chicago with her long-suffering partner and spoiled cat.
It's 1993. Kim Ho wishes she were Courtney Love, instead of the chubby 16-year-old who clashes with her traditional Chinese parents. Her very own Kurt Cobain arrives in the form of Kevin, a 26-year-old failed musician. But Kevin uses Kim's rock-star dreams to exploit her, and those dreams die along with the real Kurt Cobain.
Too scared to tell anyone, Kim conjures up a cross-dressing imaginary friend and dates Walter Riordan, the cute boy from special-ed. Walter helps her recover, but after a joke snowballs into a plot to murder Kevin, Kim's forced to choose between revenge or her sanity.
This is a truly daring and original coming-of-age novel about one girl's quest to reclaim her power from those who've stolen it.
Praise forÿMiss World:
Birth of a New Witch / Usagi:ÿ
It lets everything hang out, and for that, I must applaud Black for doing what so many authors choose to not do: tell ugly truths about young adults/teens, no matter what the time period...This is what reality looks like, and it's not always pretty on the outside - but radiant on the inside.ÿ
Intense Sensations / Vanessa Wu:ÿ
It's an uncompromising novel. Everything is laid bare. The tone is deadpan but the writing shows great sensitivity and humour. It is at once irksome and deeply pleasurable. It's compelling, moving and funny. In many ways, it's what novels were invented for.ÿ
Gohomebarbara / Barbara Galat:ÿ
"Fucking" is not a proper adjective in my opinion, and Randi Black thinks it's the best adjective.ÿSex is all over this book. It's like a sexually frustrated teenager wrote it. It's fine, but most of the time, it isn't relevant. Also, it's a little too graphic, and I honestly don't want to hear about the "white bead on the tip of his penis." because that is SO GROSS...I cannot relate to Chinese culture or the lives of children raised by Tiger Moms...The Chinese accents give me a headache...The girl talks about her chlamydia in great detail... I don't really like this book, [but] I'm gonna finish it, though.