Well-read black girl : finding our stories, discovering ourselves : an anthology

Format: Print Book [2018]
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Summary
An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.

"Yes, Well-Read Black Girl is as good as it sounds. . . . [Glory Edim] gathers an all-star cast of contributors--among them Lynn Nottage, Jesmyn Ward, and Gabourey Sidibe." --O: The Oprah Magazine ("10 Books to be Thankful for This November")

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives--but not everyone regularly sees themselves in the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all--regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability--have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.

Contributors include Jesmyn Ward ( Sing, Unburied, Sing ), Lynn Nottage ( Sweat ), Jacqueline Woodson ( Another Brooklyn ), Gabourey Sidibe ( This Is Just My Face ), Morgan Jerkins ( This Will Be My Undoing ), Tayari Jones ( An American Marriage ), Rebecca Walker ( Black, White and Jewish ), and Barbara Smith ( Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology )

Whether it's learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club-turned-online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women's writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.

Praise for Well-Read Black Girl

"Each essay can be read as a dispatch from the vast and wonderfully complex location that is black girlhood and womanhood. . . . They present literary encounters that may at times seem private and ordinary--hours spent in the children's section of a public library or in a college classroom--but are no less monumental in their impact." -- The Washington Post

"A wonderful collection of essays." -- Essence
Contents
Magic mirrors / Jesmyn Ward
Why I keep coming back to Jamaica / Veronica Chambers
Her own best thing / Tayari Jones
Go tell it / Barbara Smith
Legacy : a conversation with Rebecca Walker
Zora and me / Marita Golden
Space to move around in / Renée Watson
Gal : a hard row to hoe / Gabourey Sidibe
The need for kisses / Dhonielle Clayton
Witnessing hope / Stephanie Powell Watts
Dear beloved / Nicole Dennis-Benn
Dreaming awake / N.K. Jemisin
To be a citizen / Morgan Jerkins
Two New Yorks / Zinzi Clemmons
Putting women center stage : a conversation with Lynn Nottage
Finding my family / Bsrat Mezghebe
Complex citizen / Mahogany L. Browne
Living a "soft black song" / Jamia Wilson
Amazing grace / Carla Bruce-Eddings
Continue to rise : a conversation with Jacqueline Woodson
Books for a black girl's soul / Kaitlyn Greenidge.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "By reading Eloise Greenfield's Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems (1978) to her daughter, Edim's mother seeded in her an abiding passion for reading and profound appreciation for the work of black women writers. So ardent a reader is Edim, her partner presented her with a T-shirt declaring her a Well-Read Black Girl. The responses this evoked in New York inspired Edim to create an online book community, a national book club, and a literary festival. The creative and affirming synergy these projects have generated is embodied in this vital anthology, zestfully introduced by Edim, of personal essays by 21 black women writers who share memories about their girlhoods and early reading experiences and reflect on why they write and which writer has influenced them most. Tayari Jones muses on Toni Morrison, Veronica Chambers on Jamaica Kincaid, Marita Golden on Zora Neale Hurston. Other contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Stephanie Powell Watts, and N. K. Jemisin. Well-Read Black Girl Recommends reading lists covering various themes and genres add to the reach and radiance of this empowering literary resource.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Started in 2015 as an Instagram page, Well-Read Black Girl has grown into a nationwide book club and Brooklyn literary festival. WRBG founder Edim's collection of brief, pithy, and original essays by 21 distinguished black women addresses the question, "When did you first see yourself in literature?" The answers include discovering "the right book at the right time," reading a book first through one lens and later through another, and recognizing oneself in figures as seemingly far removed from one's experience as Hans Christian Andersen's little match girl. As expected, a pantheon of black women writers are acknowledged, with Veronica Chambers, Marita Golden, and Jamia Wilson paying tribute to, respectively, Jamaica Kincaid, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nikki Giovanni. There are thought-provoking surprises as well: Stephanie Powell Watts recalls finding inspiration in the Jehovah's Witnesses magazine Watchtower, and N.K. Jemisin in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. The book's thematic organization-sections include "Books on Black Feminism," "Plays by Black Women," and "Poetry by Black Women"-makes it easy for readers to dive in based on personal preferences, though they could just as contentedly read from cover to cover. Speaking directly to black women readers, this book contains a journey from which anyone can derive enjoyment and benefit. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects American literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism.
African Americans -- Race identity.
African American women in literature.
Publisher New York :[2018]
Edition First edition.
Contributors Edim, Glory, 1982- editor.
Language English
Description xxv, 239 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 20 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 9780525619772
0525619771
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