My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For as long as I might live, I will continue to tout my jealousy of women writers. Or perhaps it is a thing that lives only so strong in this particular generation for women writers. I use “women writers” in this sense to mean specifically black women writers. There is such a strong, tender, and vital culture of sisterhood that lives amongst them as evidenced by how well versed each of them is in the others’ body of work. As I mentioned in an earlier update, if this text is any indication, Toni Morrison is arguably the greatest writer the latter half of the 20th century and the English language ever produced as she received a ringing and resounding endorsement from most every writer in the tome, well known and lesser known names alike.
I was never a fan of fiction as a child or young adult, but in reading not only the selections for this text, but the back story of the authors covered has led me towards the clawing notion that black women hold stories better than any other single grouping of writers that one can consider. That is a bold statement and I am likely to retract soon after this review is written especially as I consider the “immigrant” grouping and the wonderful tales woven of that experience, but for a moment I’ll let it stand.
Of the qualities that was oft cited of Toni Morrison was included of course the penchant for magical realism, the astonishing magnificent manner in which she is aware of and wields the English language, and the truth she is able to extract in how she studies every aspect of her stories in the process of drawing them forth, but I think I am digressing from the point.
The brilliance of this text is how well the editor, Rebecca Carroll, was able to capture and convey the truth of these authors. The reason that either they came to writing or writing came to them. The manner in which they communicate with their characters for these are not simply paper bound one dimensional figures, but whole and complete and soul imbued beings with a way about this world and a reason to be acknowledged. The creative means is strong here. The tug and the tussle for attention as if these characters are children reaching forth to know their mother. Yes. I know what the red clay looks like and I doubt I shall ever be able to forget it again. Word to Gammy Kathy. Love you Mama and Mama.