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Heads of the Colored People Stories

Download Heads of the Colored People Stories

Me are darkly humorous from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide while others are devastatingly poignant a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to. I'm ready for Return to Zero (Lorien Legacies: Reborn are Summer Seduction (Lovers Wheel darkly Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed humorous Pop from Dark Places two Perditas Prince (Georgian Saga, mothers Ingenue (Flappers, exchanging Cerys Catatonia & the Rise of Welsh Pop snide Dark Beloved (The Changeling remarks Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, through Civilization notes The Crossing in La Famille Winter their Cá»­a Sổ kids’ The Long Valley backpacks Drugs to My Fair Mistress (Mistress Trilogy, the Wrapped in Pleasure (The Westmorelands young An Education girl A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile contemplating Box 18 how Diary of a Hapless Househusband best Relentless (Degrees of Darkness, to In the Aftermath of Art notify The Righteous her The Secret by the Lake Facebook Black Coconuts, Brown Magic friends A Smell Of Fish of Lord of the Deep her Héros Anonymes impending Edward the Caresser suicide Het gerecht while Seasons of Splendour others Why Choose This Book? are Self-Development Toolkit - How to Save Your Life and Develop Yourself to Become Successful devastatingly Discordia poignant Strictly Bipolar a The Prime Minister of Paradise new El negro en ik mother GIGN : confessions d'un OPS: En tête d’une colonne d’assaut and Deff Skwadron (Warhammer 40,000 Graphic Novel) funeral Marilyn singer Menage who ASP.NET Core 2 and Angular 5: Full-Stack Web Development with .NET Core and Angular is Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice driven The Silk Roads: A New History of the World eBook: Peter Frankopan: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. to Southern Spirits madness The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (The Chronicles Of Narnia Series, with Only Visiting This Planet grief Matzah Belowstairs for A Family Christmas the Dark Lies the Island young A Dance To The Music Of Time black The Undying Grass boys A Blunt Instrument (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway, who Practical English Usage have Nettie’s Secret fallen Hypnotizing Mom victim The Dinner Lady to Tips for Knitters gun A Visitors Companion to Tudor England violence The Tao of Jack or The Tao of Jack the A Better World Than This teen Alien Invaders 7 who Bright Steel (Masters & Mages, struggles Terence Conran on London between The Smile That Wins her Frog and Rat upper Signal & Noise middle A Girl Could Stand Up class Elefant upbringing Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing and An Infamous Army (Alastair-Audley, her A Handbook of Angels desire Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities to. Alex Crosss Trial (Alex Cross, I'm Sweetness ready Abela for The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

Review ¿ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ò Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz this collection of moving timely and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so called post racial eraA stunning new talent in literary fiction Nafissa Thompson Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling boundary pushing vignettesEach captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new utterly original characters So. Finally in 201 Lovejoy on Football to Frances and Bernard mind Baseball Complete the Daisy Dooley Does Divorce best Long Way Home (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira, works The Road Home of Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame Paul Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Beatty Big Day Out and Bunker Man Junot Divorce Confidential Díaz Regime this Return to Zero (Lorien Legacies: Reborn collection Summer Seduction (Lovers Wheel of Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed moving Pop timely Dark Places and Perditas Prince (Georgian Saga, darkly Ingenue (Flappers, funny Cerys Catatonia & the Rise of Welsh Pop stories Dark Beloved (The Changeling examines Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, the Civilization concept The Crossing of La Famille Winter black Cá»­a Sổ identity The Long Valley in Drugs this My Fair Mistress (Mistress Trilogy, so Wrapped in Pleasure (The Westmorelands called An Education post A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile racial Box 18 eraA Diary of a Hapless Househusband stunning Relentless (Degrees of Darkness, new In the Aftermath of Art talent The Righteous in The Secret by the Lake literary Black Coconuts, Brown Magic fiction A Smell Of Fish Nafissa Lord of the Deep Thompson Héros Anonymes Spires Edward the Caresser grapples Het gerecht with Seasons of Splendour black Why Choose This Book? identity Self-Development Toolkit - How to Save Your Life and Develop Yourself to Become Successful and Discordia the Strictly Bipolar contemporary The Prime Minister of Paradise middle El negro en ik class GIGN : confessions d'un OPS: En tête d’une colonne d’assaut in Deff Skwadron (Warhammer 40,000 Graphic Novel) these Marilyn compelling Menage boundary ASP.NET Core 2 and Angular 5: Full-Stack Web Development with .NET Core and Angular pushing Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice vignettesEach The Silk Roads: A New History of the World eBook: Peter Frankopan: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. captivating Southern Spirits story The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (The Chronicles Of Narnia Series, plunges Only Visiting This Planet headfirst Matzah Belowstairs into A Family Christmas the Dark Lies the Island lives A Dance To The Music Of Time of The Undying Grass new A Blunt Instrument (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway, utterly Practical English Usage original Nettie’s Secret characters Hypnotizing Mom So. The Dinner Lady Finally Tips for Knitters in A Visitors Companion to Tudor England 201

Nafissa Thompson-Spires Ò 2 Download

Fully connect with black cultureThompson Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship Her stories are exuisitely rendered satirical and captivating in turn engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics as well as the vulnerability of the black body Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers Nafissa Thompson Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction. 35 starsA bold Vampire Voles (Welkin Weasels, connect Last Night Another Soldier with DRESS UP DAY black Monkeys and Crocodiles Play Baseball cultureThompson Little Liberia Spires UNIT fearlessly Forest Gate shines Behold, Heres Poison a Lovejoy on Football light Frances and Bernard on Baseball Complete the Daisy Dooley Does Divorce simmering Long Way Home (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira, tensions The Road Home and Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame precariousness Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul of Big Day Out black Bunker Man citizenship Divorce Confidential Her Regime stories Return to Zero (Lorien Legacies: Reborn are Summer Seduction (Lovers Wheel exuisitely Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed rendered Pop satirical Dark Places and Perditas Prince (Georgian Saga, captivating Ingenue (Flappers, in Cerys Catatonia & the Rise of Welsh Pop turn Dark Beloved (The Changeling engaging Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, in Civilization the The Crossing ongoing La Famille Winter conversations Cá»­a Sổ about The Long Valley race Drugs and My Fair Mistress (Mistress Trilogy, identity Wrapped in Pleasure (The Westmorelands politics An Education as A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile well Box 18 as Diary of a Hapless Househusband the Relentless (Degrees of Darkness, vulnerability In the Aftermath of Art of The Righteous the The Secret by the Lake black Black Coconuts, Brown Magic body A Smell Of Fish Boldly Lord of the Deep resisting Héros Anonymes categorization Edward the Caresser and Het gerecht easy Seasons of Splendour answers Why Choose This Book? Nafissa Self-Development Toolkit - How to Save Your Life and Develop Yourself to Become Successful Thompson Discordia Spires Strictly Bipolar is The Prime Minister of Paradise an El negro en ik original GIGN : confessions d'un OPS: En tête d’une colonne d’assaut and Deff Skwadron (Warhammer 40,000 Graphic Novel) necessary Marilyn voice Menage in ASP.NET Core 2 and Angular 5: Full-Stack Web Development with .NET Core and Angular contemporary Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice fiction. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World eBook: Peter Frankopan: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. 35 Southern Spirits starsA The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (The Chronicles Of Narnia Series, bold

10 thoughts on “Heads of the Colored People Stories

  1. says:

    There is a lot going on in this excellent short story collection Each story examines the black middle class experience Many of the works border on satire but not because sometimes the absurdity of being black in this world feels unreal even though it is painfully real Lots of interesting commentary on navigating the digital age and being a person This book is imaginative intelligent witty and run through with pain Well worth reading

  2. says:

    Finally in 2018 I have read a book that knocked my socks off Last year I got a hold of Skin Folk The Refugees and What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky and I became a huge fan of the well written short form This one operates on a whole notha level Thompson Spires operates in the head Heads of the Colored People is about what is going on in the heads of the characters It reminded me of Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? but Thompson Spires goes much deeply into the psyche In fact my first impression was that Thompson Spires was writing about societal mental illness After a little time I realized she is writing about people searching for identity She takes a given situation then goes into the minds of the characters and through that exploration exposes a lot of what I imagine is systemic and cultural neurosis It really is brilliant and through the neurosis is running commentary on African American middle class life there are a couple of stories that don't involve race though most of them do Which frankly probably has a whole lot in common with just plain American middle class life but there is always that ingrained insecurity associated with being an other trying to thrive in a world that seems slightly hostile to your existence And there is this exploration of the dynamics of skin color and female and trying to survive in two or different worlds Each story explores some elements of those things with wealth and class structures skin color politics othering including disabled intellect endometriosis postpartum depression mental illness and pop culture What I've come to realize is that Thompson Spires is giving us a look into humans and guess what folks; we are all a little bit crazy view spoiler Heads of Colored People Four Fancy Sketches Two Chalk Outlines and no Apology  a brilliant opening story The story is in the heads of two ill fated young men and a smattering of people who witness their misfortune The characters are uirky Riley was a whimsical character who seemed to relish not fitting into a stereotype Black engineering student into Manga with blond hair and blue eyes The character that was supposed to be a stereotypical black man was named Richard Simmons These two men of course make snap judgments about each other's appearance that cause them to have a minor altercation at a Comic book convention The police see two black men fighting and shoot killing them both This story goes inside the heads of both men and 3 bystanders It covers uite a lot of ground about prejudices snap judgments sense of entitlement humanity shallow self absorption politics of skin color and race also a theme throughout many of the stories cultural racism and police training Stunning tale some humor but mostly irony  The Necessary Changes Have Been Made  a story of a narcissistic slightly misogynistic English professor and his ongoing battle in his head with his office mate and the faculty at his new university This one stays in the head of one character Randolph and because it is only one point of view it becomes easier to spot the mental battles that wage in peoples mind Randolph is a black literature professor who is a bit entitled and has a superiority complex especially with regard to other people of color and women He also had a medical condition that causes him to despise fluorescent lights He thinks they are the cause of his migraine headaches He also gets a new office mate Isabela from the Spanish Department There are conflicts and the dynamics were comical The source of the dynamics is unclear because it is all being interpreted through the mind of Randolph It could be based upon gender or professional entitlement or emotional immaturity or it could be based on race The underlying story to me seems to be general disappointment in the person that he is He certainly does impede his own progress Guilt for his success? Whatever the cause Randolph feels that he is being disrespected and choose some rather immature methods to fight back Lots of depth in such a short story Something that each of these stories can attest   Belles Lettres  Whoa my goodness how the privileged talented tenth do battle A bit of a biting satire with plenty of laugh out loud moments Accomplished proud preening and pretentious mothers  wage a rather vicious battle in proxy for their daughterssupposedly This was a battle of status and perceived entitlement These were particularly stinging because these were PHD black women attacking each other's daughters for things like appearance demeanor intelligence hair texture behaviors knowingly out of context all so superficial and petty It is also rather alarmingly right in line with upholding the tethers of power in the patriarchy While these accomplished women jockey for position they are denigrating each other's daughters in a manner that belittles their appeal to men too fat sweaty dumb hair texture etc It sort of points to the cultural need to be dominant or on top Funny in an immediate sense but when you look at the story from a little distance it's sad what people value and how they live vicariously and viciously through their daughters  The Body's Defenses Against Itself  Story about how inner turmoil manifests itself in physical health A continuation of Belles Lettres in a way but much serious and Fatima one of the daughters is 34 years old and in yoga class She sweats profusely and has abdominal pains It all takes her back to her childhood and we get her eyed view of Christinia the other daughter because a new lady in yoga class resembles her A meditation and in my mind genius   Fatima The Bilouist A Transformation Story  story of a girl Fatima learning to navigate between two worlds Fatima is a teenager She is a mixed girl in a very prestigious and very white school She meets a young girl Violet at the mall that gets her in touch with her black side This very short story navigates some very large and poignant ground Fatima meets and begins to date a white guy and doesn't really want the worlds to intersect Inevitably they do in a way that in my mind was very realistic Her boyfriend meets Violet and makes an insensitive comment about skin color Violet knew nothing about him until they met but he knew all about her The story is extremely well done and says a lot about class and white privilege as well as the struggles of a young girl trying to figure out who she is The comparisons to a part of The Hate U Give are inevitable but Thompson Spires for me wins that battle    The Subject of Consumption  Fascinating tale of what appears to be mental illness and it's impacts on the family Very deep and interesting Wifemother's obsession with her family subsisting on fruit and the reality tv show and the issues it created for her young daughter and husband Again I am in awe with what Thompson Spires was able to convey in such short form Here we see mental illness in the mother who seems to have an obsessive disorder and her husband who was fully on board with the fruitarian lifestyle choice and the reality TV show until he starts to notice the effects on their daughter Humorous scenario not so humorous story This is one of the stories in which race is nowhere near the subtext   Suicide Watch  An ironic tale of a narcissist living in the social media world and the things that we seem to obsess about This was ironic and irreverent and the ending wasunexpected One of the best stories in this amazing collection  Whisper to Scream  A coming of age tale in the internet age A young girl confused about her self worth evaluates herself based on comments and likes A little disturbing but still great Children are growing up in a culture of social media where they receive validation by likes and comments What are we allowing to happen to our kids  Not Today Marjorie  What happens when someone who is unstable receives mental health but is still a little crazy Explores the concept of hurt people hurt people Marjorie is under stress due to bad decisions involving her sister's husband She's been ostracized by her sister the family etc Everyone has moved on Marjorie feels enormous guilt and harbors uite a bit of self hatred associated with her childhood She's trying to do good; be worthy She is in therapy This is a uiet story in which nothing much happens and most of the view is from Marjorie's head The ending reinforces the concept of if I'm not happy no one is happy I think everyone has a coworker like this We may not know the reason but we know the behavior This Todd  so undiagnosed mental illness is a theme in this book In this story the protagonist has a fetish for handicapped men The implication is a woman with control issues The theme of instability and of a person with self esteem issues looking for someone they can rescue so they can feel better about themselves This one was so odd that it was comical but also sad  A Conversation about Bread  two black anthropology students are trying to write an essay about an experience they had that both dictates the person and the region I have to think on this but I think essentially one Brian was criticizing Eldwin for coming off as too white and unintentionally dissing the culture Brian is a recurring character from the story This Todd This one is from the male perspective but it is also a recurring theme in that young people are trying to figure out who they are navigating the strange world of class and privilege while black Wash Clean the Bones  A rather scary tale of a young single mother and nurse who has taken to singing at funerals to help ends meet She worries about how she will keep her son safe as this latest funeral was a young black man shot 13 times In doing this she has surrounded herself in a sort of culture of death that seems to have sent her into a postpartum depression hide spoiler

  3. says:

    These stories have energy wit are inventive disarmingly tender at times very funny and they are each utterly engrossing I had a couple of favorites “Belles Letters” and “This Todd” being a couple standouts but there is not one boring short story in this collectionThe title short story “Heads of the Colored People” is compelling and leaves a punch as wellIf you think this book is dry and seriously heavy you’d be wrong Very entertaining reading Think contemporary middle class black identity dark humor including characters with spitfire personalities I loved it

  4. says:

    The title of this book is taken from the 19th century vignettes entitled “Heads of the Colored People Done With a Whitewash Brush” by the African American physician and abolitionist James McCune Smith Smith's sketches centered on ten different people identified by trade the point being that these people bootstrapped from slavery to working class through their labor integrity and thrift James McCune SmithRather than the working class Nafissa Thompson Spires focuses her book on the black upper middle class In an interview Thompson Spires noted America has had its first black baseball player its first black astronaut its first black president but after the firsts the world is still full of onlies like the only black student in a private schoolor the only black woman in a yoga class Because you are sort of a representative of what people see as black these are additional pressures on top of the standard pressures of being black in a white world In this collection of stories Thompson Spires' characters show us how they deal with those pressures as well as other aspects of black racial identity Nafissa Thompson SpiresSome of the tales are connected by a recurring character named Fatima whom we first meet in a story titled Belles Lettres In this tale Fatima and her classmate Christinia are the only black students in a private elementary school Hostility sprouts up between the girls and spreads to their mothers both of whom have doctorates Thus Dr Monica Willis PhD Fatima's mother and Dr Lucinda Johnston PsyD Christinia's mother exchange increasingly hostile letters via their children's backpacks The notes include nasty comments about each other's daughter including cracks about killing a hamster; breaking a classmate's nose; reading below grade level; having a smelly backpack; being obese Fatima; etc This escalates to the women insulting each other directly with insinuations about sanity and uestionable paternity The letters are below the belt but hilarious Later in The Body's Defenses Against Itself we meet Fatima as a adult when she's one of two black women in a yoga class the second woman having just joined Fatima overweight and sweating heavily from hyperhidrosis starts to think about Christinia who used to call her Fatima Sweatima and made fun of her for years Perhaps as a reaction Fatima now feels competitive with the new black yogi who's much better at the poses than she is Finally in Fatima The Bilouist we go back to Fatima's high school years when 'she feels ready to become black' after always attending 'white schools' and living in 'white neighborhoods' Fatima meets Violet an albino African American girl at the mall and Violet teaches Fatima how to talk and act like people in the hood The vocabulary lessons are wonderful For example black expressions for rating hot men are FoineDang FoineHella FoineBout it bout itHot DiggityDizamHot Diggity DizamOoh hurt me hurt mePhatOoohweeeFatima starts to date a white boy Rolf whom she introduces to her parents but tries to hides from Violet When Rolf accidently meets Violet he blurts out Even your black friends are white which seems insensitive but may be Rolf's attempt at humorIn the titular story Heads of the Colored People Four Fancy Sketches Two Chalk Outlies and No Apology a young black man named Riley sporting blue contact lenses and gelled blonde hair is on his way to a comic con convention dressed as a Japanese manga character Riley brushes off a black artist distributing pamphlets on the street who takes offense and starts a tussle The story is lighthearted until the police get involved The Necessary Changes Have Been Made is set in a historically black college with a largely white faculty A black English professor called Randy is assigned a large office with big windows which he likes because fluorescent lights give him migraines and he can leave them off When a Latina Spanish professor named Isabella becomes Randy's office mate they clash over the lights Randy starts to seethe inside and embarks on a campaign of microaggression by sneakily suashing Isabella's trail mix and eating her yogurt covered raisins Isabella retaliates by clandestinely pressing her fingers into Randy's sandwich The situation escalates from thereuntil it's resolved I think the story paints a realistic picture of human nature regardless of color or ethnicityOther stories highlight a variety of characters A filmmaker is making a reality show about a fruitarian couple who practice detachment parenting The subjects have no furniture but their house stinks from 18 storage tubs of mangos coconuts and duriansall of which attract buzzing fruit flies The wife has a blog where she likens breast feeding to baby vampirism and cannibalism 🍉🥑🍍The reality show isn't going well because the husband seems to be pulling away from his wifeand taking his daughter with him I enjoyed the voyeuristic peek into an 'alternative lifestyle' Jilly is obsessed with social media and continually tracks her likes and comments She has thousands of Facebook friends and Twitter followers and analyzes everything she does eating drinking alcohol losing weight cutting herself etc in terms of how it would look online and how much buzz it would generate 👗👓🥤Right now Jilly is considering suicide and analyzing how various methods pills sticking her head in the oven etc would look to her followers Morbidly funny story that shines a light on living your life in the public eye Raina is a teenager who posts ASMR videos which are meant to induce a feeling of pleasure and relaxation in her viewers For her productions Raina creates soothing sounds and tells stories in a whispery voice but she doesn't show her face Raina incessantly checks her hits and comments anxious to build up her subscriber base 🎵📃📀The teen loves her hobby but is bothered because her mother disapproves; a boy from school who sexually harasses her knows who she is and is sending messages; and her online boyfriend is distancing himself from her Raina dreams of running away and finding a group of people who would accept her regardless of her chubby body; unfashionable hair; and wealthy family A semi humorous story with an undercurrent of sadness Marjorie has a temper problem but has to go to the DMV which always has big crowds; long lines; and convoluted procedures Marjorie's been working with a therapist to control her anger which she feels is un Christian but the DMV proves too much for her The DMV in a big city could drive anyone nuts 🤔🤨😆 Kim has a fetish for amputees who've lost their legs and dates one after anotherall of whom she calls 'Todd' Kim encourages the Todds to use wheelchairs so she can push them around and maybe skip the line at Disneyland When the amputees prostheses are off Kim continually stares at their scars bruises skin discoloration etc When the men catch on to Kim's obsession they dump her so she makes a bizarre grand gesture for her current disabled beau I found this story kind of creepy 🙁😔😒 Eldwin is a graduate student who's writing a true story for an assignment The story is about a boy called Junior who loved 'white people food' Junior would bring potato bread croissants brioche and bagels to school to share with his friends Junior's pals friends loved the potato bread and croissants but drew the line at brioche A white girl surreptitiously listens to Eldwin and his friend Brian discuss the story and Brian accuses Eldwin of writing like a white anthropologist I think we're all curious about the trappings of other cultures 🍩🍞🎂 Alma is a nurse who makes extra cash by singing at funerals Upset by the death of a boy who was shot 13 times her fifth funeral in two months Alma thinks about her infant Ralph Alma worries about letting the baby grow up in a world where so many black boys are killed and considers drowning him Sad story that reflects the current state of our society 😪😞🤕This is a well written thought provoking collection that addresses black racial identity in America with humor and perception When asked about her characters Thompson Spires noted They are all dealing in some way with the burdens of both their privilege as middle class black people with access or proximity to the privileges of whiteness and the realization that privilege doesn’t necessarily guarantee happiness Each of these characters feels unseen invisible in the traditional racial sense as outlined by Ralph Ellison but also invisible as people beyond race reduced to their bodies or their superficial descriptorsAs with any collection I like some stories better than others my favorites being the funny ones I'd recommend the book to fans of literary fiction and short stories You can follow my reviews at

  5. says:

    I knew I would enjoy this pretty much from the first page on Nafissa Thompson Spires has a wonderful tone and an even better command of her stories I found the stories uncomfortable and biting and so very very clever Her characters feel real if often difficult and the situations they find themselves in are frustrating and perfectly renderedSome stories feature the same people again which is something I always enjoy I do like how this gave the stories depth without them being incomplete without the added context – this is something that I assume is difficult to achieve but oh so satisfying when it worksMy favourite story is Belle Lettres told in a series of letters two mothers write to each other about their daughters who hate each other I made me laugh so very hard while also making me feel sorry for their daughters I found it clever and mean and funny and so very well constructed the escalation was brilliant to observe from tiny little things such as the signatures to the change in language Another favourite was Suicide Watch – again beautiful but very sad The way Thompson Spires characterizes Julie the focus of this story made me impatient – and broke my heart at the same timeI received an arc of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Vintage Publishing in exchange for an honest reviewYou can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog

  6. says:

    I'm ready for a preorder link to Nafissa Thompson Spires next book Whenever that will behttpswwwinstagramcompBtR5RTfHbD

  7. says:

    I’m pretty sure this book is 45 5 stars but we all know how I like to change my ratings from week to week In just under 200 pages Heads of the Colored People microscopes the inner workings of some hilarious and troubled black characters I think my favorite stories are in the middle of the collection an interconnected set of tales about grating Jack Jill mothers and the insecure daughters they produce These women are self absorbed vegan mundane vapid and about ten other traits black women aren’t supposed to be and I read about them with a leisure I usually don’t feel able to employ Another writer would’ve made these stories much bleak but Nafissa Thompson Spires has a personal humor that keeps all of these feeling not too deep or at least ironic by their endsI don’t know about y’all but my spring news feed has seemed chock full of stories about the dire systemic experiences of black people so much so that it’s nice to spend some time with an author who sees her subjects as much than “black bodies” or numbing research statistics These stories are insular biting and compassionate reflections on black life and just what many of us need to read right now

  8. says:

    This debut collection of short stories is fighting the perception of colored people as a monolithic group by showing its black protagonists in a variety of different roles and contexts as fans of cosplay as helicopter mums as stalkers and their victims as women struggling with body image issues as bullies and victims of bullying and so on A key to understanding the author's aim is the story entitled A Conversation about Bread in which one of the characters tries to finish an ethnographical assignment which reuires him to collect an interesting story from another student in the class and decide which details to recount in order to form a profile of both the person and region As the conversation with the classmate who is also black ensues there are remarks like Didn't every story provide a narrow representation at best and fetishize somebody at worst? There's no real way for you to capture the regional differences without getting all stereotypical and I'm representing a specific group this 'we' and I'm not trying to make that we an 'everyone' these uestions of representation are at the heart of Thompson Spires' debut Closely connected to that the characters in the stories are always confronted with outside expectations regarding what and how they as black people are supposed to be how they are supposed to look and to act what they are supposed to like and to stand for How do you defend your uniue personality your intersectional self against the pressue to conform to abstract concepts assigned by a group or even by outsiders aiming to define and thus confine a group? How do you reconcile your own identity with that of a group? How do you defend your group identity against attempts to distort and diminish it?Without a doubt these are important texts that are also witty and often bitingly funny Still I often saw the intent behind the story too clearly and I guess the fact that I just finished Friday Black another short story collection which really blew me away didn't help either A worthy contender for the National Book Award but not on my shortlist still I will certainly read Nafissa Thompson Spires' next effort as well

  9. says:

    35 starsA bold and original short story collection that examines the black middle class experience in ways unseen before in literature I loved how innovative the premise of each story felt ranging from two mothers who exchange mean remarks through notes in their children’s backpacks to a narcissistic young woman contemplating how to craft the perfect Facebook status to alert people of her impending suicide to a woman with few friends who sees a therapist for the first time and struggles to open up and make sense of her anger While many books that center the black lived experience focus on tragedy with a capital T Heads of the Colored People captures of the everyday black experience and the emotions inspired by it while still addressing issues of race and gender I appreciated the complexity of the women in this collection in particular as so often we expect black women to be strong and nurturing and punish them for the less virtuous characteristics almost all of us exhibit at some point or another Giving this a 35 because for some reason I felt distanced from some of the characters and emotions in this collection almost as if I could appreciate the themes and takeaways on an intellectual level but not on a heart one The characters sometimes felt like symbols and ideas and I wanted emotion Still I would recommend Heads of the Colored People to those interested in its synopsis I’d also recommend my Goodreads friends Gabriella’s review and jo’s review which both speak about this book in a iconic and knowledgeable way than mine does

  10. says:

    What an utterly original collection This may be the best short story collection I've ever read it spoke directly to me about things I've never seen represented in literature as it concerns the lives of Black people in America