Coming April 28, 2020
"In Thorpe’s Technicolor world, everyone is an innocent and everyone is culpable and no one is absolved, and the result is a novel both nauseatingly brutal and radically kind. Brilliantly off-kilter and vibrating with life."
--Kirkus, starred review
A LitHub Most Anticipated Book of 2019
"Thorpe’s fierce third novel observes the development of and challenges to an intense friendship between two outcasts at a Southern California high school… Deeply realized and complex. The result cannily dissects the power and limits of adolescent friendship.”
"Brilliantly constructed and beautifully told, threaded with heartbreak, honesty and hope, The Knockout Queen is a sublime coming of age story and Rufi Thorpe is a national treasure."
-- Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, bestselling author of The Nest
"Fearless, tender, and savagely alive, The Knockout Queen is unlike anything you'll read this year. Rufi Thorpe's third novel is about unruly thoughts and unruly bodies, about violence and love, about doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and the drag of human being. You won't be able to look away. You might even recognize yourself.”
-- Chloe Benjamin, bestselling author of The Immortalists
"The Knockout Queen is an intense, unflinching examination of friendship, the threads that connect us in such strange ways. Rufi Thorpe navigates this difficult terrain thanks to a masterful use of detail and a wonderfully dark sense of humor that lands at just the right moment. Michael and Bunny are two of the most unique characters I've ever met, drawn with such precision that it's impossible to leave them behind. This is a hypnotic, beautiful novel, and Rufi Thorpe is an unbelievably unique talent."
-- Kevin Wilson, bestselling author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, The Family Fang, and Perfect Little World
"The Knockout Queen is the best book I've read in months! Its one-of-a-kind narrator is funny, vulnerable, brilliant, and brimming with longing, and the story he tells distills the pain and beauty of a life-changing friendship like nothing else I've read before. This book's got guts and heart, and wisdom for days, and I could not put it down. Rufi Thorpe is one of the most exciting novelists working today. This novel is truly exceptional. I loved it."
-- Edan Lepucki, bestselling author of California and Woman No. 17
"Rufi Thorpe writes with a savage, clear-eyed calm that is frighteningly good."
--Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. the World
"Is it cheesy to say The Knockout Queen knocked me off my feet? I couldn't put it down, and when I had to, I did so only reluctantly, shakily."
--Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin
"Holy shit I loved The Knockout Queen. A blistering, brilliant look at friendship and violence, suburbia and class, all told by one of the most observant, engaging narrators I’ve read in a very long time. This book is going to stay with me."
—Grant Ginder, author of Honestly, We Meant Well and The People We Hate at the Wedding