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Publisher's Summary

Named a Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2021 by New York TimesVultureBoston Globe ● Oprah Daily ● Shereads ● Kirkus Reviews ● Hey Alma ● Lithub ● and more

“Reveals on every page how love can persevere and take shape over time and space.” (Boston Globe

“One of the most inventive and talented stylists of her generation.” (Vulture)

From the award-winning author of Land of Love and Drowning, an electric new novel that maps the emotional inheritance of one couple newly in love.

When Fly and Stela meet in 21st-century New York City, it seems like fate. He's a Black American musician from a mixed-religious background who knows all about heartbreak. She’s a Catholic science teacher from the Caribbean, looking for lasting love. But are they meant to be? The answer goes back decades - all the way to their parents' earliest loves.

Vibrant and emotionally riveting, Monster in the Middle moves across decades, from the US to the Virgin Islands to Ghana and back again, to show how one couple's romance is intrinsically influenced by the family lore and love stories that preceded their own pairing. What challenges and traumas must this new couple inherit, what hopes and ambitions will keep them moving forward? Exploring desire and identity, religion and class, passion and obligation, the novel posits that in order to answer the question “who are we meant to be with?” we must first understand who we are and how we came to be.

©2021 Tiphanie Yanique (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Back and forth, through time and space, we examine the human propensity to love, to fail at loving, to love again…. On this tumultuous mapping of American magic, we find ourselves at the center. [Monster in the Middle] boldly tells us: You are here.” (The New York Times Book Review) 

“A genre-defying multigenerational love story that moves fluidly across time and geography.... Yanique narratively excavates how our family origins influence our aptitude for intimacy.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)

“Yanique is a writer’s writer, one of the most inventive and talented stylists of her generation.... [She] explores the way love can echo along the corridors of history, through police brutality and a pandemic, deftly weaving and juxtaposing the trajectories that make love possible.” (Vulture)

What listeners say about Monster in the Middle

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like a Seinfeld episode....

I hanging through the whole book looking for the point or the stories to come together in a meaningful way and it never happened.....it was literally a book about nothing