Kendra Allen



Written in a distinctive voice and filled with personality, humor, and pathos, "Fruit Punch" is a memoir unlike any other, from a one-of-a-kind millennial talent. Growing up in Dallas, Texas, in the nineties and early 2000s, Kendra Allen had a complicated, loving, and intense family life filled with desire and community but also undercurrents of violence and turmoil. "We equate suffering to perseverance and misinterpret the weight of shame," she writes. As she makes her way through a world of obscureness, Kendra finds herself slowly discovering outlets to help navigate growing up and against the expected performance of being a young Black woman in the South-a complex interplay of race, class, and gender that proves to be ever-shifting ground.


Kendra Allen was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She is the recipient of the 2018 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction for her essay collection "When You Learn the Alphabet", awarded by Kiese Laymon. She has been featured on C-SPAN, interviewed in "The Rumpus" and "Poets & Writers" , and her work has been taught by "New York Times" bestselling author Jason Reynolds alongside that of Jamaica Kincaid and Eve Ewing, among other distinctions. She is the author of "The Collection Plate".