"Wild and beautiful." -Sapphire, national bestselling author of PUSH... Kalisha's acclaimed, award-winning debut novel is available in print, e-book and audio formats wherever books are sold.



UK Edition from John Murray

French edition from Rouergue


“Wild and beautiful…told using the epistolary form with brilliant skill not seen since The Color Purple.” –Sapphire, author of PUSH and The Kid

“Heartbreaking and true. I’d read it again just for the power of the language.” –Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina

“Intimate, wrenching.” –Achy Obejas, author of Ruins and The Tower of the Antilles

“A literary gem.” –E. Lynn Harris, celebrated American author of  Invisible Life

“Creative, raw and honest.”- Darnella Ford, author of Rising 

“Real and raw in its humor and tragedy.” –Zelda Lockhart, Hurston-Wright Award winner and author of Fifth Born

Fluent, candid and colloquial.” Publishers Weekly

“A realistic love story set against a backdrop as gritty as it is memorable.” –People

“Captures the tenacity and faithfulness of young love.” –Entertainment Weekly

“A sensitive portrayal of young lovers that moves beyond gritty urban fiction.” –Essence

“A poetry uniquely its own.” –Elle

Upstate is a coming-of-age tale filled with tragedy, despair and hope.” –Toronto Sun

Upstate starts out strong and never lets go.” –Chicago Tribune

“The street smart language crackles.” –Marie Claire

“Ripe with unforgettable characters and two entrancing voices.” –Audio Publishers Association

“In prose that brilliantly captures the way real kids in Harlem speak, Kalisha Buckhanon reveals not only her characters’ Romeo and Juliet-like ardor, but also their intelligence and ambition.” –Bookpage

“A powerful novel that has capabilities to cross generations.” –Reviewers Bookwatch

“Poignant, compelling and luminous.” –APOO Book Reviews

Upstate breaks hearts and offers hope.” –Uptown

“A story that is well worth the telling.” –Black Issues Book Review

“A rare audiobook find whose voices linger in the mind long after the final chapter.” AudioFile Magazine

“By structuring her story in the epistolary form, [Buckhanon] gives it an intimacy and urgency that the best tales always have.”-London Independent on Sunday

“A raw account of divided love.” –Time Out London

“It’s important, gut-wrenching and possibly the best insight into the mentality of an American teenage culture … a book that’s impossible to forget.” –Daily Record

“A heart-breaking depiction of a situation that faces many young Black people in the USA and Britain today.” –New Nation

“The moving and compelling story gives voice to young black America.” –TNT Magazine

“A truly original debute novel.” –London Standard

“Kalisha Buckhanon triumphs with this unusual literary approach, and the development of the couple’s relationship and characters as they get older is spot on. A great first.” –London Big Issue

“Raw, tender and emotional, every word of this accomplished debut rings beautifully and painfully true.” –Sainsbury’s Magazine