Advance Praise for Palmetto Rose

in Palmetto Rose
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Honestly written and full of hope for anyone who has loved and lost. You can’t help but fall in love with Palmetto Rose’s narrator as you learn about their efforts to come back from losing their first love. The reader will gain a glimpse into the narrator’s early adulthood – their struggles with intimacy, their resilience, and the rich family of choice that helps them through it all. The relationships articulated in these pages offer a model for navigating poly love, friendship and disappointment with a commitment to patience and care. An engaging read for all who dare envision the expansive possibilities of family.

Katie Acosta, Ph.D., Georgia State University and author of Amigas y Amantes: Sexually Nonconforming Latinas Negotiate Family


In Palmetto Rose, Sumerau continues the compellingly complex story of the narrator we meet in their first novel, Cigarettes & Wine. Palmetto Rose explores the lives, loves, and losses of a diverse range of queer young adults living in the south, generating a narrative rich in detail and description that provides a much-needed portrayal of the ways that individuals in polyamorous relationships navigate relationships with one another and with their metamours.

Brandy Simula, Ph.D., Emory University


This was a perfect read for me – much like the “Perfect Palmetto Rose.” Sumerau’s novel reintroduces us to “Kid” whose fluid gender identity and bisexuality interact with characters who are deeply immersed in friendships that are also fluid-and ever-changing. Readers can’t help but notice the ease in which Sumerau weaves discussions of polyamory, asexuality, queer and transgender identities into Kid’s everyday interactions. The reader is (happily) forced to dismiss taken-for-granted assumptions about gender and sexuality because Kid does – Kid guides the reader through the life of their friends – sometimes of discrimination and tragic loss, but more often lives about love and new friendships. Kid is at times disparaging about their educational abilities all the while they teach us, the reader, more about gender and sexuality fluid relationships than any other character I have met.

Andrea Miller, Ph.D., Webster University


In Palmetto Rose, Sumerau shares the story of young adults navigating romantic relationships and life on their own in Atlanta, Georgia. We follow the characters as they discover how their previous individual and collective experiences impact their current relationships and worldviews. Sumerau beautifully captures the complications of early adulthood for characters defying gender and sexual binaries in the early 2000s. This novel, similar to Sumerau’s other works, highlights the stories of bisexual, genderfluid, transgender, and poly people that are often missing from mainstream fiction. Palmetto Rose also serves as a great supplemental text for courses addressing gender identities, sexualities, religion, families, culture, and the South.

Mandi N. Barringer, Ph.D., University of North Florida


Prepare to be unreachable for at least a day because once you start Palmetto Rose, you won’t be able to put it down. In a much-anticipated sequel to Cigarettes & Wine, Sumerau thrusts us back into the world of Lena, Abs, Kid, and their family of choice in Atlanta in the years after the loss of a beloved member of the family. We follow Kid as they reconnect to their past and begin the process of healing and finding new love within and beyond themselves. Bursting with poetic prose and multifaceted new characters, Palmetto Rose marks what will be some of the best queer fiction and sociology of the year. Palmetto Rose continues Sumerau’s legacy of writing heart wrenching and warming tales of young adulthood that double as an indispensable tool for teaching in the social sciences, art, and humanities.

Lain A. B. Mathers, Doctoral Candidate, University of Illinois Chicago

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