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Showing posts from June, 2015

A Matter of Souls by Denise Lewis Patrick

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This collection of little vignettes was a delight to read.  I found this little treasure in the local library while perusing titles in the Teen Section in preparation for The Hurston & Hughes Literary Circle 2.0 that I lead every summer. The stories span the space of American black history that did not feel like I was reading a recitation of facts of the horrors of being sun kissed in the deep south. Ms. Patrick deftly presented the topics and left it up to us to uncover the deeper meaning in her conservation of words. When the matter of human history is examined in the fullness, one of the things we share in common is the soul, the space of wonder, of will, of emotion, of feelings, that is supposed to set us apart from other breathing creatures. Sun kissed or moon white, humanity in the depths of being, longs for acceptance, love, and connection. That was present in these little moments with a son finding his way, a daugther wondering about life, and a father taking a chance

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison is one of the most studied authors of our time. This octogenarian has released her latest book. Race, gender, equality, equity, and family continue to be familiar themes in her writings. That remains true in this, her eleventh book. God Help the Child is one of her only books set in contemporary times.   Morrison lets the reader know, in tightly rendered 178 pages, that her age has not removed her from a keen observation of the nuances of modern life. As a writer, her gift of compelling storytelling rings true in each page-turning-chapter. The characters each speak in their own voice, all of them female, different ages, different races, different colors, and connect on the ultimate theme of the book - the universality of childhood trauma shaping the adult lives across gender, race, class, ethnicity, and religion. The short work is absent some of the total mysticism that is repleate in her previous works like Beloved. In this work, the language is accessible and beyo