We've really enjoyed diversifying our book club choices this year and are very much looking forward to this month's pick: Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires. Last month brought a split from our members, with about half of the book club enjoying The Good Son and half not liking it at all. Books like this make book club interesting and bring up powerful conversations. So, if you think you'd enjoy a thoughtful conversation with other people in your community, come by the store to grab your copy of this month's book!
Presenting unique characters, gifted storyteller Thompson-Spires navigates the black experience with humor and poignancy while also acknowledging the inherent tensions and exposure to violence black citizens encounter. Inspired by leading abolitionist and physician James McCune Smith's "Heads of the Colored People, Done with a Whitewash Brush," Thompson-Spires offers a powerful debut of 11 original, multilayered stories that focus on the African American community, exploring race and the politics of identity but also class issues and the privileges of the black middle class. "Belles Lettres" exemplifies this focus well. Two mothers correspond with increasing snippiness via notes in their daughters' backpacks, their insults targeting education, mental health, physical appearance, paternity, and so on. It would seem that the daughters, Christinia and Fatima, the only black girls in their private school, might seek each other out. However, their rivalry continues through high school, as revealed in "The Body's Defenses Against Itself." This piece and the title story are among several that delve into body and self-image, clarifying what it's like to live in a black body within a racist society.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of January. If you'd like to purchase online, we have the following the formats available:
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on March 30th at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
New York Times Interview --"Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: Disarming Humor in 'Heads of the Colored People'"
The Guardian Review -- "'Heads of the Colored People' by Nafissa Thompson-Spires review - coolly ironic stories"
Foggy Pine Books
Literary Gifts & Events for Boone's Bibliophiles