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Photo of Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Mecca stands in front of a yellow backdrop and smiles at the camera. Mecca has long black braided hair with blue at the ends. She wears a black top and gold jewelry.

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan


Mecca Jamilah Sullivan’s fiction explores the intellectual, emotional, and bodily lives of young black women through voice, music, and hip-hop inflected magical realist techniques. She is the author of the short story collection Blue Talk and Love (2015), winner of the Judith Markowitz Award for Fiction from Lambda Literary; The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora (University of Illinois Press, 2021); and her highly anticipated debut novel Big Girl, forthcoming with W.W. Norton & Co. (2022).

About Sullivan’s debut novel, Big Girl, Kiese Laymon says, “There are three books on earth that I would give anything to be able to write and reread until the suns burns us up. Big Girl is one of those books. The sound, the expansiveness of the whispers, the critical, brilliant, sometimes bruising, beautiful Black girlness explored in this novel is literally second to none. I know I have just read and reread a new American classic that we as a culture and country desperately need. Believe that.” While Rick Moody succinctly observes her writing to feel, “nearly Faulknerian.”

Sullivan’s short stories have appeared in Best New Writing, Kenyon Review, American Fiction: Best New Stories by Emerging Writers, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize Stories, BLOOM: Queer Fiction, Art, Poetry and More, TriQuarterly, Feminist Studies, All About Skin: Short Stories by Award-Winning Women Writers of Color, DC Metro Weekly, Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing, and many others. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the winner of the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the Glenna Luschei Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Lambda Literary, and the Center for Fiction in New York City, where she received an inaugural Emerging Writers Fellowship.

A proud native of Harlem, NY, Sullivan’s critical and scholarly work on sexuality, identity, and poetics in contemporary African Diaspora culture has appeared in The Cut, Feminist Studies, American Quarterly, College Literature, The Rumpus,, The Feminist Wire, Black Futures, and many others. Mecca’s research and scholarship have earned support from the Mellon-Mays Foundation, the Social Sciences Research Council, Williams College, Rutgers University, Duke University, the American Academy of University Women, and the Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson Foundation).

She is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University and lives in Washington, D

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