Showing posts from January, 2016

Sarah's Psalm by Florence Ladd

This story is precisely why I started writing literary criticisms of works by, for, or about the ordinary extraordinary lives about women of color. We truly exist in all our wonderful forms and far from the stereotyped images that fill bookshelf space in some of the larger bookstores, this tale is one that resonated with me in my middle  years. Florence Ladd took a very realistic woman's story of discovery and decisions and made it feel contemporary, relevant, and universal. This first novel was written twenty years go when the author herself was in her sixth-decade of life. That alone gives me joy in reading the book. This work also won the 1997 Best Fiction Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It is part of what I am calling the First Novel Series. If you are a black woman, any woman frankly anywhere in the world, you need to read Sarah's Psalm. This is the story my soul has craved to read for in so many ways, it is my story. Sarah Stewart Ma

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Review by Tayé Foster Bradshaw Have you ever wondered about the backstory of some of the most familiar fairy tales? Hardly an American girl has grown up without musing about Prince Charming or thinking their mother is the wicked stepmother for making her clean her room before a school dance. Cinderella stories, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wizard of Oz/The Wiz, even Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, all present some element of wonder, hopefulness, and rescue. Someone rescues the damsel in distress and it is not often a woman. Then, have you ever wondered if that story were turned upside down with an entirely different story line and contemporary topics to make you ponder if you ever knew the story in the first place? Such is how I felt when I was reading Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi This Nigerian-heritage, London-raised writer challenged me and intrigued me with her story replete with themes that resonate in 2016. When I first started reading the book, I couldn'

Reading 2016

Almost every year, I challenge myself to consider reading all the books on my to-be-read pile. This year, that pile is sorted a little differently. This space has been for reading and celebrating black female literary works either by character or author. This year, that will expand to include works by some of the AfroLatina, Asian, Native American/Indigeneous, and of course, African, Caribbean, and BlackAmerican writers. We will stay true to the focus on voices that reach into stories that celebrate what it means to be a fully actualized woman with real lives and challenges. In selecting the starting list for 2016, we focused on some prize groupings and decided that even in trying to make a list, that there will be some surprises that tickle our fancy, some selections for my salon and some works that demand attention. ©Tayé Foster Bradshaw Bookshelf Sitting on the desk, currently selected (not all pictured) include Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (Nigerian writer), Sarahs Ps