Capturing all the vulnerability, perceptiveness, and inquisitiveness of a young Black girl on the cusp of puberty, Harris's prose perfectly inhabits that hazy space between childhood and adolescence, where everything that was once familiar develops a veneer of strangeness when seen through newer, older eyes. Through KB's disillusionment and subsequent discovery of her own power, What the Fireflies Knew poignantly reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up--the realization that loved ones can be flawed, sometimes significantly so, and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.
Kai Harris is a writer and educator from Detroit, Michigan, who uses her voice to uplift the Black community through realistic fiction centered on the Black experience. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Kweli Journal, Longform, and the Killens Review, amongst others. In addition to fiction, Kai has published poetry, personal essays, and peer-reviewed academic articles on topics related to Black girlhood and womanhood, the slave narrative genre, motherhood, and Black identity. A graduate of Western Michigan University's PhD program, Kai was the recipient of the university's Gwen Frostic Creative Writing Award in Fiction for her short story, "While We Live." Kai now lives in the Bay Area with her husband, three daughters, and dog Tabasco, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University.
- Publisher: Tiny Reparations Books (February 1, 2022)
- Language: English
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- ISBN-10: 059318534X
- ISBN-13: 9780593185346
- Item Weight: 1.11 pounds
- Dimensions: 6 x 0.72 x 9 inches