Tag: african american authors

  • Greenlee’s The Spook Who Sat By The Door

    The Spook Who Sat By The DoorSam Greenlee I think I first heard about The Spook Who Sat By The Door maybe twenty years ago, but this was the year I finally read this incredible book. The storyline is well known to the reader of leftist literature – Dan Freeman, a black man, joins the […]

  • Review: Homie by Danez Smith

    Home: Poems Danez Smith I’m as surprised as anyone to say that I have a couple of favorite contemporary poets. For most of my life I didn’t pay much attention to this world, but now I follow the work of a couple of poets pretty carefully including Morgan Parker, Ilya Kaminsky and the brilliant Danez […]

  • Review: Parker’s Magical Negro

    Magical Negro: Poems Morgan Parker I don’t really follow contemporary poetry, but there a couple of writers who I adore and I pick up their new work whenever it comes out. Parker (of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce) is one of those writers I follow. Magical Negro is another round of beautiful writing […]

  • Review: Wilkinson’s American Spy

      American Spy Lauren Wilkinson Spy novel written by serious novelist that deals with race, gender, and anti-colonial struggles in Africa? SIGN ME UP. Wilkinson walks the line between literary and page turner here, incorporating very specific and nuanced discussions of African American / Afro-Caribbean Brooklyn, race and policing, and modern African history. To this […]

  • Review: Jame’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf

    Black Leopard, Red Wolf Marlon James Booker award winning novelist Marlon James jumps into the epic fantasy game and produces a book that is gorgeous on the sentence level, well constructed on the paragraph level, but hugely challenging as a book. Perhaps I’m not smart enough, or my attention isn’t focused enough, but I found […]

  • Delany’s Atheist in the Attic

    The Atheist in the Attic Samuel Delany I am a huge fan of the work of Samuel Delany and I’m convinced that a hundred years from now, he’ll be one of the most studied writers of our time. This is a minor work made of two pieces, a short novella that imagines the conversations between […]

  • Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead

    Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems Danez Smith A slim, early volume by one of my favorite working poets. You can see the visceral power and honesty here, (some of the poems here are repeated in the more comprehensive Don’t Call Us Dead) but perhaps it isn’t as fully developed as I think it is in […]

  • Hayes’s American Sonnets to My Once and Future Assassins

    American Sonnets to My Once and Future Assassins Terrance Hayes Another gut punch of a book of poetry by a black man. Viscerally moving sonnets about race, love and America.  Most pointedly what its like to reflect backwards, and think ahead, in Trump’s America. For many years, I didn’t read much poetry, but lately, I’m […]

  • Review: Locke’s Bluebird, Bluebird

    Bluebird, Bluebird Attica Locke A good crime novel is often as much about place as it is about characters and plot. Raymond Chandler is telling us not just about some caper gone wrong, he’s telling us about Los Angeles. Same with Richard Stark and New York City and, in the present case, Attica Locke and […]

  • Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

    Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesmyn Ward I read and loved Salvage the Bones, Ward’s first novel about a poor black and rural family preparing for hurricane Katrina. And I read, and cried, over her memoir Men We Reaped. But this, her latest about mothers and her children, about prison, about drugs, about race and violence and […]