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Rainbow Milk


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About the Author

Mendez (they/them) was born in the Black Country, a historically industrial region, in 1982. Raised in the Jehovah's Witness faith, they left the organisation while still a teenager, and later began sex work while studying acting at a North London method school. Journaling their experiences eventually led to a novel, Rainbow Milk, which was published in 2020 and shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Polari Prize. Their essays and reviews have appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry Foundation, Attitude and the Guardian.


This debut cements Mendez as a stunning new voice in fiction. Semi-autobiographical, this gripping coming-of-age story set in the Black Country in the 1950s follows 19-year-old Jesse as he comes to terms with his racial and sexual identity against the backdrop of his repressive religious upbringing . . . An original addition to the queer fiction canon - CosmopolitanExquisite descriptions of the body, of longing and lust, set against the recent history of the nation. Proof once more there can be no discussion of English history that isn't also a discussion of blackness, queerness and class

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