Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez is Critics’ Favourite in End of the Year Picks

Rainbow Milk: an Observer 2020 Top 10 Debut eBook: Mendez, Paul:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

We are thrilled to see Paul Mendez’s debut novel Rainbow Milk appear on many ‘Best Books of 2020’ lists this year.

Daniel Hahn chose it for The Spectator, saying: ‘There’s something particularly thrilling about discovering a great debut, and none this year could be more electric than Paul Mendez’s Rainbow Milk. Sex, blackness, class, religion, male bodies, self-understanding and finding a community are all explored in new ways with startling assurance for a first-timer. I suspect book two will be very different, and I can’t wait to see it.’

It was also selected by Johanna Thomas-Corr in the New Statesman who praised it as ‘full of tenderness and soul’, as well as in the Irish Times by Nicole Flattery, who called it ‘an ambitious, clever and candid debut’.

Rainbow Milk made three separate lists in the Observer. Justine Jordan chose it as one the best fiction books of the year, calling it ‘notable’ and ‘fearless’. Booker-shortlisted author Maaza Mengiste also selected it as part of the Observer’s list of best books of the year as chosen by authors, , saying ‘Paul Mendez ’s unflinching, revelatory novel Rainbow Milk is a story about outsiders, about faith and sexual identity, but it’s also about those unexpected places where tenderness still exists.’ On the Observer’s list of best books of the year picked by booksellers, Isuara Barbé-Brown from Pages of Hackney said ‘One of our most biked books was Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez. It’s a pageturner with a lot of heart’.

Rainbow Milk also makes the BBC Culture books of the year list, and is recommended as one of the best books for Christmas 2020 in Stylist magazine, who called it ‘brilliant’ and ‘incredible fiction for reading fans’, as well as I news, where it’s described as ‘hard-hitting’ and say it ‘lingers long after the final page.’

The audio book is read by the author himself, and was selected by the Financial Times in their roundup of the best audio books of the year. They said: ‘Mendez must have been an easy choice to read his debut novel — He excels here.’

Rainbow Milk was published by Dialogue Books in April 2020. It was selected as an Observer Top Ten Debut Novel for 2020 and shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize.