Jennifer Neal


My Pisces Heart

A Black Immigrant's Search for Home Across Four Continents

With heart, humor, and razor-sharp observation, this intimate and incisive memoir traces the journey of a Black, queer woman as she searches the world for a place of security and acceptance to call home

I’ve never seen home as a permanent concept; it is an image crafted from untempered glass that threatens to shatter with lack of care.

Jennifer Neal was born in the United States to a family that moved continuously for their own survival and well-being—from the Great Migration to the twenty-first century. As an adult, she has continued to travel the world as a Black queer woman, across two decades and four continents.

As she moves from Japan to Chicago, Australia to Germany (where she has settled for now), Neal weaves her personal story of immigration with the local Black histories and racial politics to provide context for her experiences. The result is both a crucial examination of how racism plays a foundational role in modern-day immigration systems and a tender tribute to immigrants and their stories.

An unwavering interrogation of colonialism and policy, love and loss, hypocrisy and resistance, My Pisces Heart demands meaningful conversation about not only the ways in which we live with our histories, but also how they live through us—urging an honest dialogue on why the West continues to grapple with its past and visualize its future.

Notes on Her Color

A Novel

Winner of the Vulgar Geniuses Award

Florida kitsch swirls together with magical realism in this glittering debut novel about a young Black and Indigenous woman who learns to change the color of her skin

Gabrielle has always had a complicated relationship with her mother Tallulah, one marked by intimacy and resilience in the face of a volatile patriarch. Everything in their home has been bleached a cold white—from the cupboards filled with sheets and crockery to the food and spices Tallulah cooks with. Even Gabrielle, who inherited the ability to change the color of her skin from her mother, is told to pass into white if she doesn’t want to upset her father.

But this vital mother-daughter bond implodes when Tallulah is hospitalized for a mental health crisis. Separated from her mother for the first time in her life, Gabrielle must learn to control the temperamental shifts in her color on her own.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle is spending a year after high school focusing on her piano lessons, an extracurricular her father is sure will make her a more appealing candidate for pre med programs. Her instructor, a queer, dark-skinned woman named Dominique, seems to encapsulate everything Gabrielle is missing in her life—creativity, confidence, and perhaps most importantly, a nurturing sense of love.

Following a young woman looking for a world beyond her family’s carefully -coded existence, Notes on Her Color is a lushly written and haunting tale that shows how love, in its best sense, can be a liberating force from destructive origins.