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Black Marks

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Black Marks Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“In this wonderfully intelligent novel, Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte explores a young womans complicated struggle to come to terms with her fractured past. Full of vivid characters and lovely sensual details, Black Marks transports its readers effortlessly between the many worlds Georgette inhabits. A splendid debut.” —Margot Livesey, author of Banishing Verona

Black Marks is an absorbing, highly imagined, and beautifully written novel. Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte rewards her readers with a brilliant interweaving of stories that capture a young womans movement into and out of different worlds as she searches for identity and attempts to make sense of her life.” —William Julius Wilson, author of The Declining Significance of Race

Black Marks is the story of Georgette Collins, who wakes up one day in her early thirties to discover she had no past. Everyone has had the experience of not quite fitting in at some point in their lives, but Georgette has grown up in between worlds: black and white, gay and straight, wealthy and working class, West Indian and American.

Throughout, Georgette tries to piece together these fractured worlds from her grandmother's stories and her own fragmented memories, but she cannot make sense of her experiences. Each reinvention of herself is more disastrous than the last. Now, Georgette, an African-American librarian, is completely isolated; she is floating, unable to make connections with family, friends, and colleagues. Many mornings she wakes to find a man in her bed with no idea how he got there. Days are spent in a self-created bubble, which both protects her and separates her from others.

The narrative weaves back and forth in time, through Georgette's childhood in Jamaica to her teenage immersion in Boston and New York nightlife, and into the reclusive silence of her adulthood, of the library. The story's ambiguities remind the reader that there are not always easy answers for why one person may suffer, and neither are there always identifiable paths to recovery. Although depression and sadness play major roles in Georgette's life, her first-person voice is intelligent, funny, and capable of both warmth and irony.

Review:

"A young African-American artist's troubled, emotionally dislocated experience in Cambridge, Mass., and Jamaica comprises Hoyte's uneven, structurally disorienting debut. Georgette Collins is the product of wealthy, well-connected black parents in Cambridge, who divorce and send the youngster to her grandmother Nina's house in Kingston, Jamaica, for summer vacations in the early 1980s. Georgette learns patois and absorbs Nina's fabulous stories, while back in Boston she attends the all-girls' Ellis School, where she possesses the only Afro in a sea of smooth ponytails. Years later, after college at Harvard and coming out as a lesbian, Georgette works as a librarian at the Boston Public Library. Her ruptured narrative reveals a troubling (and fairly incredible) loss of memory: she awakens one day in her early 30s to discover she has 'no past.' Georgette embarks on an aimless chain of self-destructive behavior, such as sleeping with men she can't remember picking up and avoiding people at her job because of her 'blank slate of... mind.' Gradually, Hoyte fills in some gaps: her stint as the 'kept woman' of a controlling rich white lover, Amanda, alcoholism and psychiatric counseling. Hoyte lays out a sympathetic catalogue of Georgette's painful struggles, but her narrator's memory loss makes for an awkward dramatization of feelings of alienation." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A powerful tale of a young woman's quest to find her identity, lost between cultures and families.

Synopsis:

Fiction. BLACK MARKS is the story of Georgette Collins, who grew up between worlds-black and white, gay and straight, wealthy and working class, West Indian and American. Georgette attempts to reconstruct her splintered past: from her Jamaican childhood to her teenage immersion in Boston and New York nightlife, and more recently, into the reclusive silence of a library. Despite her struggles, Georgette's first-person voice is infectious, intelligent, funny and capable of both warmth and irony. "BLACK MARKS is an absorbing, highly imagined, and beautifully written novel. Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte rewards her readers with a brilliant interweaving of stories that capture a young woman's movement into and out of different worlds as she searches for identity and attemptes to make sense of her life" William Julius Wilson.

Synopsis:

The narrative weaves back and forth in time, through Georgette's childhood in Jamaica to her teenage immersion in Boston and New York nightlife, and into the reclusive silence of her adulthood, of the library. The story's ambiguities remind the reader that there are not always easy answers for why one person may suffer, and neither are there always identifiable paths to recovery. Although depression and sadness play major roles in Georgette's life, her first-person voice is intelligent, funny, and capable of both warmth and irony.

About the Author

Kirsten Hoyte won the Astraea Foundation Claire of the Moon Award. She received an MFA from the University of Iowa and is currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard University. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in various publications, including the Harvard Review, the Minnesota Review, and Sojourner. She lives and works in Concord, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781888451849
Author:
Hoyte, Kirsten
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Author:
Dinnall Hoyte, Kirsten
Author:
Hoyte, Kirsten Dinnall
Subject:
Lesbian
Subject:
Identity (psychology)
Subject:
Grandparent and child
Subject:
Women librarians.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-Lesbian Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20060231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.3 x 0.9 in 9.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Gay Fiction
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Lesbian Fiction
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Black Marks Used Trade Paper
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Product details 200 pages Akashic Books - English 9781888451849 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A young African-American artist's troubled, emotionally dislocated experience in Cambridge, Mass., and Jamaica comprises Hoyte's uneven, structurally disorienting debut. Georgette Collins is the product of wealthy, well-connected black parents in Cambridge, who divorce and send the youngster to her grandmother Nina's house in Kingston, Jamaica, for summer vacations in the early 1980s. Georgette learns patois and absorbs Nina's fabulous stories, while back in Boston she attends the all-girls' Ellis School, where she possesses the only Afro in a sea of smooth ponytails. Years later, after college at Harvard and coming out as a lesbian, Georgette works as a librarian at the Boston Public Library. Her ruptured narrative reveals a troubling (and fairly incredible) loss of memory: she awakens one day in her early 30s to discover she has 'no past.' Georgette embarks on an aimless chain of self-destructive behavior, such as sleeping with men she can't remember picking up and avoiding people at her job because of her 'blank slate of... mind.' Gradually, Hoyte fills in some gaps: her stint as the 'kept woman' of a controlling rich white lover, Amanda, alcoholism and psychiatric counseling. Hoyte lays out a sympathetic catalogue of Georgette's painful struggles, but her narrator's memory loss makes for an awkward dramatization of feelings of alienation." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
A powerful tale of a young woman's quest to find her identity, lost between cultures and families.
"Synopsis" by , Fiction. BLACK MARKS is the story of Georgette Collins, who grew up between worlds-black and white, gay and straight, wealthy and working class, West Indian and American. Georgette attempts to reconstruct her splintered past: from her Jamaican childhood to her teenage immersion in Boston and New York nightlife, and more recently, into the reclusive silence of a library. Despite her struggles, Georgette's first-person voice is infectious, intelligent, funny and capable of both warmth and irony. "BLACK MARKS is an absorbing, highly imagined, and beautifully written novel. Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte rewards her readers with a brilliant interweaving of stories that capture a young woman's movement into and out of different worlds as she searches for identity and attemptes to make sense of her life" William Julius Wilson.
"Synopsis" by , The narrative weaves back and forth in time, through Georgette's childhood in Jamaica to her teenage immersion in Boston and New York nightlife, and into the reclusive silence of her adulthood, of the library. The story's ambiguities remind the reader that there are not always easy answers for why one person may suffer, and neither are there always identifiable paths to recovery. Although depression and sadness play major roles in Georgette's life, her first-person voice is intelligent, funny, and capable of both warmth and irony.
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