Author: Daniel Black
As seen on TikTok, Daniel Black’s Perfect Peace is the heartbreaking portrait of a large, rural southern family’s attempt to grapple with their mother’s desperate decision to make her newborn son into the daughter she will never have—“a complex, imaginative story of one unforgettable black family in mid-twentieth century Arkansas” (Atlanta Magazine).
When the seventh child of the Peace family, named Perfect, turns eight, her mother Emma Jean tells her bewildered daughter, “You was born a boy. I made you a girl. But that ain’t what you was supposed to be. So, from now on, you gon’ be a boy. It’ll be a little strange at first, but you’ll get used to it, and this’ll be over after while.”
From this point forward, Perfect’s life becomes a bizarre kaleidoscope of events—while the rest of his family is forced to question everything they thought they knew about gender, sexuality, unconditional love, and fulfillment.
“A morality tale of the consequences of letting our selfish needs trap the ones we love into roles they weren’t born to play. The characters here are as flawed, their sins numerous, as any living human being held under the lens, but the author brings a compassion and understanding to their plights.”—Mat Johnson, award-winning author of Invisible Things
“Part cautionary tale, part folk tale, part fable, Daniel Black’s Perfect Peace is a complete triumph…In Emma Jean Peace, Dr. Black has created a character as complex, equivocal and unforgettable as Scarlett O'Hara.”—Larry Duplechan, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of Got ’Til It’s Gone
St. Martin's Griffin