Big Fat Brown Bitch

Big Fat Brown Bitch

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Longlisted for the 2024 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry

NZ Listener Best Books of 2023

Admire my big fat brown body, bitches!
Admire it!

The Big Fat Brown Bitch runs, sleeps, cries, laughs, splits open. She is sitting in a garage in South Auckland with her two brothers and discussing the majestic architecture of atoms. She is playing an audio book of The Power of Positive Thinking at herself. She is jumping over the lazy dog. She is lying face down in the mud and doing an apology on behalf of us all. She is receiving an election-year visit and a death threat. She is strapped to the cross. She is turning into a werewolf. The Big Fat Brown Bitch is coming for you.

Tusiata Avia, author of Ockham-award-winning The Savage Coloniser Book, returns with a brilliant and eviscerating work. These are poems of defiance, confrontation, consolation, satire, sorrow and fury.


'Original, often ironical, self-critical, clear as a bell in style and, amazingly, very funny in the midst of real rage.' —NZ Listener

'Avia is a bold, uncompromising artist with a sharp intelligence and caustic wit: her poetry swaggers and her poetry sears. . . . The collection’s title is not a slur but a sign of her power, now and through the ages.' —Paula Morris, Aotearoa New Zealand Review of Books

'A book of poetry as angry as it is beautiful, a study on hate as much as it is a circling of the wound with sea-salt kisses (think diving into the wreck a la Adrienne Rich, but very brown.) . . . This poet is in expert control. It’s a raw and hard-won wisdom between the lines, a sense of looking back over her battles and her treasures: a masterpiece of radical self-acceptance.' —Courtenay Sina Meredith, PMN

'Tusiata Avia is not mucking around . . . Big Fat Brown Bitch illustrates the confidence of a poet at the height of her powers.' —Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times

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Tags: Fiction