Showing posts from December, 2012

2013 Book List

Habari Gani! It is the first day of Kwanzaa, Umoja, and in a time of unity of the culture, race, and nation, I am thinking about what I've been doing here the last few years - reading and reviewing black female literature. It is also the day after Christmas when many reviewers are either listing their best books of 2012 or preparing their 2013 list of must-read-books. I am doing the same. I am still determined to give light and voice to the words written by black female authors or those about black female authors.  But I have also decided to expand my repertoire a bit this year by including literary works by my sisters in writing. Two books I am excited to read in 2013 include Shattered Illusions by my young Jewish friend - Leigh Hershkovich .  Her book is listed on Goodreads and you can find out more about her through  her blog. The other one I am excited to read is by my cousin.  It is still a manuscript, but will be a moving story about the interracial love story tha

A Lesson Before Dying

I am taking a brief step away from my black female literary reviews to discuss a book I read as part of my CFUH Book Club. We have met each month since the summer of 2008 to read books across genres that have helped us facilitate discussions on race, class, ethnicity, and diversity in our little community that was struck by an unspeakable tragedy. It is that tragedy that was a part of our minds and my depression yesterday. A Lesson Before Dying is not a happy book.  It is deeply human in the emotions evoked by the haunting prose of Ernest Gaines.  He took us back in time to 1946-47 rural Louisiana, the back country where the plantations were still supreme.  We all thought Ernest Gaines was channeling his own experience as a young man in the form of Grant Wiggins, the one room school house teacher whose aunt basically guilted him into "making a man" out of Jefferson who was sentenced to die. I appreciated Gaines' form and the short chapters, it would have been too