Synopses & Reviews
This remarkable debut collection, including a story chosen by Tobias Wolff for The Best American Short Stories 1994, introduces a wholly original young voice to fiction by and about African Americans. Focusing her generous attentions on disenfranchised black teenagers, Ferrell gives pitch-perfect voice to characters not often found in short fiction, and she brings them to life with penetrating sympathy. Many of these vibrant stories are set in the South Bronx. In Proper Library, a black high school boy finds that being gay, ironically, protects him from the macho culture surrounding him. In Miracle Answer, the black daughter of a white mother views her double-edged life with both sass and sorrow. In the brilliant title story, a young woman traces backward through her life to the moment she learned she had AIDS. The world of these almost-adults is a treacherous one, yet they manage to find there uncommon strength, humor, and sometimes - amazingly - joy. Like Toni Morrison and Alice
"intimate in the way you used to hope a good book could be" The New York Times
"A book to celebrate . . . Each story is a song, the voice tuned to perfection." - Tobias Wolff
This remarkable debut collection introduces a wholly new original young voice to fiction by and about African Americans. Ferrell's remarkable stories show young people on the verge of being erased from society--but determined to endure. They are black or biracial, poor or from broken families, almost-adults navigating a treacherous world. Yet their voices--incandescently street-smart--speak of passion, of connection, of hope wherever they can find it.
About the Author
Carolyn Ferrell, a two-time Fulbright Scholar, teaches at Lawrence College. She lives in New York.