Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, by Danielle Evans, is a very good collection of short stories which focus predominantly on young African-American or mixed-race men and women as they navigate intimate relationships with their families, friends, and lovers.  Of the eight stories, there were probably three that were stand-outs, though all of them are well-written, fresh, and insightful.  To get a sense of Evans' writing, she states, "We are all walking around on eggshells, waiting for a death the way people wait on rainstorms when the sky promises bad weather, but so far nobody has talked to me about it, and nobody has asked me to do anything more than make potato salad."  Her writing is simple, with zing and emotional punch.  Evans published her first story at the age of 23, is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, and currently teaches literature at American University.  I'm sensing that she is an up and coming literary star to watch out for, though we have yet to see what she can do in the realm of novels.

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