The humorous and heart-wrenching story of a woman’s re-entry into life on the outside after twenty years in incarceration, told over one whirlwind Fourth of July weekend.
“There’s no one quite like Carlotta Mercedes, the transgender Black Colombian heroine – no, star – of the second novel by Hannaham.”
When Carlotta Mercedes was pulled into a robbery gone wrong, she still went by the name she was born with. But not long after her conviction, she began to live as a woman, an embrace of selfhood that prison authorities rejected, keeping Carlotta trapped in an all-male cell block, abused by both inmates and guards.
Over twenty years later, Carlotta is granted conditional freedom and returns to a much-changed Brooklyn, where she struggles to reconcile with a family reluctant to accept her identity, and to avoid any minor parole infraction that might get her consigned back to lockup.
Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta sweeps the reader through seemingly every street of Brooklyn, much as Joyce’s Ulysses does through Dublin. Hannaham introduces a cast of unforgettable characters even as it challenges us to confront the glaring injustices of a society and prison system that continues to punish people long after their time has been served.
"A remarkable novel…the hilarity, the sharpness, and the wild lyricism of Hannaham's Delicious Foods resurface in Carlotta, along with an interest in racism, community, family, love, the possibilities of language, and the preciousness of the freedom to be who you are."* Francine Prose, The New York Review of Books *
“We were big fans of James Hannaham’s previous novel Delicious Foods… The long wait for his follow-up is finally over and it’s a doozy: a raucous social comedy that takes on our carceral system, the poor treatment of trans people, and capitalist failings in one unmissable package.”* Chicago Review of Books *
“The title of the James Hannaham’s latest novel is ironic, because one would need to be both inhuman and immune to stylistic brilliance to be able to spend any time in Carlotta Mercedes’ world without starting to care deeply about the protagonist of Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta.”* CyprusMa