Welcome back to the Black Lit Book Club, hosted by Shannon Hanks-Mackey, managing editor of the Black Scholar journal. Gathering on the last Tuesday of each month, readers will explore the works of black authors from Africa and across the diaspora. This is a book club intended for black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC).
Book club titles will not be limited to any one genre, and monthly picks may be pulled from fiction, history, mystery, graphica, sci-fi/fantasy, young adult, poetry, and more. This month's selection book is The Heads of Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (available now in hardcover and in paperback on January 22, 2019). March’s book will be The Changeling by Victor Lavalle. While the first three titles are preselected, attendees will be able to collectively choose future titles from a handful of available options. Recommendations will, of course, be welcome.
All monthly book club titles are discounted 20% for the month prior to the book club meeting. No purchase required. Drink specials (both alcoholic and non) are available from Raconteur during book club meetings.
The bookstore is on a street-level floor with wide aisles and no stairs to meeting area or to the wheelchair accessible restroom. There are two accessible parking spaces available near the front entrance (permit required). We ask that all attendees help make this a fragrance-free zone by not wearing scented products to the meeting.
This "vivid, fast, funny, way-smart, and verbally inventive" (George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo) collection of stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era.
A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes "stuffed with invention" ( Publishers Weekly).
Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous--from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids' backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide--while others are devastatingly poignant--a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.
Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. " Heads of the Colored People is a necessary and powerful new collection with, thankfully, not a dull sentence to be found" (Peter Orner, author of Am I Alone Here?). Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Thompson-Spires's collection "cements her role as an incredibly important voice in literature right now" ( PopSugar).