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Rainbow Milk

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
Shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize

AN OBSERVER TOP TEN DEBUT 2020

'Sensuous and thrillingly well written', Observer

'When did you last read a novel about a young, black, gay, Jehovah Witness man from Wolverhampton who flees his community to make his way in London as a prostitute? This might be a debut, but Mendez is an exciting, accomplished and daring storyteller with a great ear for dialogue. Graphic Erotica Alert! Don't read this book if you like your fiction cosy and middle-of-the-road' Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the 2019 Booker Prize for Girl, Woman, Other


'The kind of novel you never knew you were waiting for. An explosive work that reels from sex, to sin, to salvation all the while grappling with what it means to black, gay, British, a son, a father, a lover, even a man. A remarkable debut' Marlon James, Booker Prize winning author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf


'This debut cements Mendez as a stunning new voice in fiction' Cosmopolitan

Rainbow Milk is an intersectional coming-of-age story, following nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of a Jehovah's Witness upbringing and the legacies of the Windrush generation.

In the Black Country in the 1950s, ex-boxer Norman Alonso is a determined and humble Jamaican who has moved to Britain with his wife to secure a brighter future for themselves and their children. Blighted with unexpected illness and racism, Norman and his family are resilient in the face of such hostilities, but are all too aware that they will need more than just hope to survive.

At the turn of the millennium, Jesse seeks a fresh start in London - escaping from a broken immediate family, a repressive religious community and the desolate, disempowered Black Country - but finds himself at a loss for a new centre of gravity, and turns to sex work to create new notions of love, fatherhood and spirituality.

Rainbow Milk is a bold exploration of race, class, sexuality, freedom and religion across generations, time and cultures. Paul Mendez is a fervent new writer with an original and urgent voice.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Rainbow Milk is a rich, beautifully-crafted story, uncompromising in its exploration of identity and privilege. The characters are portrayed with such tenderness and honesty - I know that I'll be thinking about them for years to come." - Angela Chadwick

"When did you last read a novel about a young, black, gay, Jehovah Witness man from Wolverhampton who flees his community to make his way in London as a prostitute? This might be a debut, but Mendez is an exciting, accomplished and daring storyteller with a great ear for dialogue. Graphic Erotica Alert! Don't read this book if you like your fiction cosy and middle-of-the-road." - Bernardine Evaristo

"The kind of novel you never knew you were waiting for. An explosive work that reels from sex, to sin, to salvation all the while grappling with what it means to black, gay, British, a son, a father, a lover, even a man. A remarkable debut." - Marlon James

"This book is marvellous. It is beautifully written, balancing fine observation and pathos, sexuality and high culture, struggle with triumph. It's pacy, witty and gentle. I loved every minute of reading this, and I am excited for its future readers." - Okechukwu Nzelu


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Used availability for Paul Mendez's Rainbow Milk

Hardback Editions

June 2021 : USA Hardback
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Title: Rainbow Milk: A Novel
Author(s): Paul Mendez
ISBN: 0-385-54706-4 / 978-0-385-54706-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 2020 : UK Hardback
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Title: Rainbow Milk: an Observer 2020 Top 10 Debut
Author(s): Paul Mendez
ISBN: 0-349-70059-1 / 978-0-349-70059-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Dialogue Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2021 : USA Paperback
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Title: Rainbow Milk: A Novel
Author(s): Paul Mendez
ISBN: 0-593-41458-6 / 978-0-593-41458-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2021 : UK Paperback

Title: Rainbow Milk: an Observer 2020 Top 10 Debut
Author(s): Paul Mendez
ISBN: 0-349-70058-3 / 978-0-349-70058-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Dialogue Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2020 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Rainbow Milk: an Observer 2020 Top 10 Debut
Author(s): Paul Mendez
ISBN: 0-349-70203-9 / 978-0-349-70203-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Dialogue Books
Availability: Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

August 2020 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Rainbow Milk
Author(s): Paul Mendez
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon   


August 2020 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: Rainbow Milk
Author(s): Paul Mendez
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon AU   


August 2020 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Rainbow Milk
Author(s): Paul Mendez
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

June 2021 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Rainbow Milk: A Novel
Author(s): Paul Mendez
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


April 2020 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Rainbow Milk: an Observer 2020 Top 10 Debut
Author(s): Paul Mendez
Publisher: Dialogue Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU