Friday, December 11, 2015

Raw Writers 2015 -- Tiara's Four Picks by African American Authors

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor Books, $15.95)
I really appreciate the humorous characters that Adichie creates. They are gritty and unabashedly honest about the customs of their home, Nigeria, in juxtaposition with what they experienced while trying to assimilate in America. However, this story transcends any cultural barriers and is ultimately about a love the endures both distance and time.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor Books, $7.95)
Adapted from a TED Talk conference, We Should All Be Feminists delves into how and why the word "feminist" has developed a negative and extremist connotation. In this short essay, Adichie deconstructs some the ostensibly basic double standards in society and reveals the complexities of the modern feminist. As a person who would avoid the use of the word "feminist" in the past, this essay is a part the reason I now think of myself as a proud feminist.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel and Grau, $24.00)
I was genuinely brought to tears by Coates' personal account of maturing as a black man in America. He writes to end the disillusionment on racism that has plagued society for generations. As a letter to his son who was heartbroken and confused about the recent case of Michael Brown, Coates makes no attempt to comfort or disguise the harsh reality of prejudice and injustice. Both sobering and eloquent. I recommend that every person read Between the World and Me.

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (Knopf, $24.95)
I usually shy away from stories told from multiple point of views however, Morrison does a exceptional job of intertwining the lives of the protagonists who have suffered from grief and unspeakable tragedies. The smooth sentences and seductive tone of this book made it difficult to put down even as these characters are stripped down and forced to face their demons.

Tiara Richardson, December 2015

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