Virgin Soul by Judy Juanita
A Novel

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From a lauded poet and playwright, a novel of a young woman's life with the Black Panthers in 1960s San Francisco

At first glance, Geniece’s story sounds like that of a typical young woman: she goes to college, has romantic entanglements, builds meaningful friendships, and juggles her schedule with a part-time job. However, she does all of these things in 1960s San Francisco while becoming a militant member of the Black Panther movement. When Huey Newton is jailed in October 1967 and the Panthers explode nationwide, Geniece enters the organization’s dark and dangerous world of guns, FBI agents, freewheeling sex, police repression, and fatal shoot-outs—all while balancing her other life as a college student.

A moving tale of one young woman’s life spinning out of the typical and into the extraordinary during one of the most politically and racially charged eras in America, Virgin Soul will resonate with readers of Monica Ali and Ntozake Shange.

About Judy Juanita

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Judy Juanita’s poetry and fiction have been published widely, and her plays have been produced in the Bay Area and New York City. She has taught writing at Laney College in Oakland since 1993. This is her first novel. She lives in Oakland.
Published April 18, 2013 by Viking Adult. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Virgin Soul

Kirkus Reviews

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A debut novel about a young woman's coming-of-age with the Black Panther Party has more emotional power than depth.

Feb 10 2013 | Read Full Review of Virgin Soul: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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In her semi-autobiographical debut novel, poet and playwright Juanita’s prose immediately immerses the reader in the time and place of its lead character. Raised in Northern California by black middle

Mar 11 2013 | Read Full Review of Virgin Soul: A Novel

Juanita is likely to have drawn on her own memories of Oakland and Berkeley in the 1960s to write this story of Geniece Hightower, a tenacious young woman working her way through college who finds herself—first as a journalist, then from within—observing the fledgling Black Panther Party, a radic...

Apr 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Virgin Soul: A Novel

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