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Marginalia: Rufi Thorpe's 'The Knockout Queen' Packs A Punch

Nina Subin

I recently had a conversation with Rufi Thorpe about her book, The Knockout Queen. At its most basic level, it’s a book about friendship. But that’s just one of the many themes we could have explored. It's also about sexuality. It’s about fitting in. It’s about how we don’t always do the right thing.

And then there’s Thorpe’s writing. Somehow it’s simultaneously accessible and sophisticated. She has a way of respecting people's desires and fragilities as legitimate.

There are so many things to unpack here, just as there were when we started our conversation. So I’m going to start as I did that day. Here’s Rufi Thorpe giving me the elevator speech for The Knockout Queen.


The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe is published by Knopf.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita. If you like this podcast, please consider leaving a rating or review on Apple Podcasts.

Engineers: Mark Statzer and Torin Andersen
Editor: Lu Anne Stephens
Producer: Beth Golay

Follow Beth Golay on Twitter @BethGolay.

Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.