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Damaged, February 2010
by Kia DuPree

Grand Central Publishing
Featuring: Camille
304 pages
ISBN: 0446547751
EAN: 9780446547758
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"Young women on the streets of D. C. fight for their dreams and a sense of belonging"

Fresh Fiction Review

Kia DuPree

Reviewed by Patricia Woodside
Posted February 21, 2010

Multicultural Street Lit | Multicultural African-American

"Sometimes when you see people who you think are monsters, or you hear bad things about them, you really expect them to look like those big, ugly or evil-looking people, but when you really see them, like see them inside, and learn what they're about, you see that they're just like regular people. Just some bad things happened to them somewhere..."

So goes the wisdom of Peaches, one of the "damaged" women in Kia DuPree's sophomore novel, DAMAGED, as she tries to help Camille make sense of the lives they are living. Underage and young adult women, caught in a cesspool of humanity on the streets of Washington D.C. fight for their dreams and to gain a sense of family, of belonging.

I could be wrong but I believe it's rare to see a street lit book with a protagonist as young as Camille—at least it is for me—but DAMAGED provides an eye opening, compassionate look at some of what a defenseless and oft times rudderless segment of society must endure.

I love that right off the bat, Kia DuPree portrays these characters as multi-dimensional, real individuals, from the abused to the abusers. Ms. DuPree appears to capture the language, thoughts and actions of these characters with superb skill. In everyone there's a kernel of humanity hopeful to live a better life. Some characters are truly twisted and perverse while others are simply surviving and all desire more than their current life offers. DAMAGED is a worthy read for those unafraid of stepping outside their own little corner of this crazy world.

Learn more about Damaged


Camille Logan feels trapped. After she is sexually and emotionally abused by her foster parents, she turns to the one person she knows she can trust--her boyfriend Chu, a mid-level drug dealer. But when life finally starts looking up for Camille, Chu is brutally murdered. Again feeling abandoned and helpless, and refusing to return to the system, Camille finds herself living with a stable of women in a tiny run-down apartment building in Washington, D.C., working for Nut, a deranged pimp.

Fed up with her life, Camille is forced to right her wrongs, and slowly learns that her past does not necessarily determine her future.

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