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Toni Ann Johnson won the 2021 Flannery O’Connor Award for her linked story collection Light Skin Gone to Waste, selected for the prize and edited by Roxane Gay, and published by UGA Press in 2022. The book was a finalist for a 2023 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. A novella, Homegoing, won Accents Publishing’s inaugural novella contest in 2020 and was released by the press in 2021. Johnson’s first novel Remedy for a Broken Angel (2014) was a finalist for a 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author. Her short fiction has appeared in Hunger Mountain, Callaloo Journal, Fiction Magazine, The Coachella Review, and many other publications. Johnson has been a Hurston/Wright fellow and a Callaloo Writing Workshop fellow, and she’s received support for her writing from the One Story Summer Conference, the Prague Summer Program for Writers, the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. This story is excerpted from her novel-in-progress, Gramercy Park Is Closed to the Public.