The Knack of Life is the story of how a grown man learns to be a grown-up, while solving a murder and finding love sort of lad-lit and whodunit combined.
An important work on an essential subject, Fierce Angels explores and explodes the idea of the “strong black woman” as never before.
Authoritative yet deeply personal and daringly confessional, Sheri Parks’s bold new study of the black female’s role as communal savior and martyr will challenge and change anyone who reads it. Fierce Angels exposes the overwhelming emotional costs—as well as the benefits—attached to this role.
Parks, an esteemed scholar and popular media personality, provides exclusive interviews and astute analysis, as well as accounts of her own searing and inspiring experiences, to highlight the myths and the realities of black women’s lives. Beginning with the oldest ongoing archetype, the Dark Feminine, Parks reveals the layered significance of the fertility of darkness—the abyss out of which the world was spoken into existence, the primordial creator in ancient Greek, Sumerian, and West African cultures, and the essence of Mother Earth herself. As these myths matured, they played critical parts in the assignment of maternal roles to women of African descent, the Dark Feminine acquiring a particularly acrid scent once she crossed the Atlantic Ocean in shackles, bound for a life of slavery. Parks traces the development of the “strong black woman” throughout her life on Southern plantations and New York streets and in count kitchens in between. From the Black Madonna celebrated by Italian Americans to the nurturing and self “Mammy” forced to nurse her master’s child before her own, these abiding symbols of fortitude and dependability only solidified the mold into which the powerful dark woman was cast and paved a path that her descendants would have no choice but to follow. Fierce Angels follows the inheritors of this legacy of power, compassion, and familial devotion into today’s world, seeing her in Coretta Scott King, who relinquished her dreams for those of her husband, and in Angela Dawson, a mother in East Baltimore whose home was fire-bombed when she tried to save her community from drug dealers. Parks also shares important examples from entertainment, cogently reexamined and in some cases surprisingly reclaimed, from Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind to the no-nonsense Lieutenant Anita Van Buren played by S. Epatha Merkerson on Law & Order. Bringing it all home, Parks recalls the personal costs she’s paid for her own identity and fascinatingly captures those moments when she is expected to be all and know all, whether for her students at work or for strangers in the produce aisle in the supermarket. She investigates the support systems holding these stereotypes in place—latched onto by those both within and outside the traditional black community—and challenges readers, mothers, and daughters alike to examine how damaging and rewarding the assignment of this role can be and to take control of it within their lives. Credible and cathartic, piercing and provocative, Fierce Angels is a book born of pain and introspection, a work sure to stir debate and become the primary source on this vital topic.
Alain Mabanckou revisite en profondeur un certain nombre de lieux fondateurs de la littérature et de la culture africaines, avec amour, humour et dérision. Parodiant librement une légende populaire selon laquelle chaque être humain possède son double animal, il nous livre dans ce récit l'histoire d'un étonnant porc-épic, chargé par son alter ego humain, un certain Kibandi, d'accomplir à l'aide de ses redoutables piquants toute une série de meurtres rocambolesques. Malheur aux villageois qui se retrouvent sur la route de Kibandi, car son ami porc-épic est prêt à tout pour satisfaire la folie sanguinaire de son "maître" ! En détournant avec brio et malice les codes narratifs de la fable, Alain Mabanckou renouvelle les formes traditionnelles du conte africain dans un récit truculent et picaresque où se retrouvent l'art de l'ironie et la verve inventive qui font de lui une des voix majeures de la littérature francophone actuelle.
In All Violet, a young woman chronicles the experience of living on the margins, in spaces and places where body and mind are flayed by guilt, disappointments and betrayals.
Her poems record the shattering trauma of struggling to survive through periods of doubt, fear, rage and pain, creating a narrative of disconnection, indignation, alienation and emptiness, the extremes of suffering and desperation. Employing lyrical free verse, Rani Rivera has skillfully employed the short line to pinpoint moments of acute perception. Unadorned, taut and precise cries of pain, loss and fury draw the reader deeper and deeper inside this in-your-face confrontation with a dark world of foreboding alleviated by flashes of mordant wit and grace under fire. “A star student and sweet friend, Rani’s death hurts in a way only she could describe with beauty and grace: ‘I love them pretty/with their ugliness./I love them all violet/and blue.’ Her love for the world courses through this powerful collection like a clean, clear river, bathing and purifying the poison and the pain she delineates with a razor, her uncanny mind. New to these poems, I wish her back to praise her, and instead, say goodbye again, knowing she has left behind a stunning legacy, one that will be returned to, again and again, by anyone who knows, to quote Theodore Roethke, ‘the purity of pure despair.’ And to anyone who knows that life is wreching and sublime, all at once: All night, she turned violet and blue, betrayed by the Earth’s roll into darkness, leaving behind fields of flowers, bigger than oceans, and kindness, and love.” —Lynn Crosbie, writer, professor and author of The Corpses of the Future
Sample Poems Dictionary As a small south american squirrel inhabiting mostly mountainous regions would feed on lizards half-way between poles of the tropics, I too would fall heartbreaked in the settlement of feuds of the fields of kentucky. When the moss grows high between the perennials and disordered mimmocks weep, these dainty fastidious gestating mammals break for leavened bread and sup between the rows of trees, lifting like friars some heavy books in the sunlight's morning windows where the mollusks row in scion's quadragesimal phyla. Found Text The deer mistook their reflections for deer and the deer mistook their reflections for other deer and the deer apparently mistook their reflections for sheep and what the deer mistook their reflections for isn't certain and the deer were removed from the scene, being deer, before being removed and mistaking reflections of the other deer for the sheep the deer were removed and the deer deciding to join them joined the deer having mistaken reflections of sheep for the deer having mistaken reflections of sheep for the deer in the plate glass windows. The New Life I eat steak and live on the big neon avenue and fear strangers, admire my neighbors, the drug store, and the bus, I was an addict live addicted to the avenue, in the dark folds late at night, addicted to sleep and lavender, I went into the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine, loving you and the liquor store, the lavender bottles, the many directions.... PART TWO Today I am rivets of sails in a log cabin where Jack London lived in Alaska until they moved his cabin here where we collect the change to buy our drinks and eat the free hors d'oeuvres, where the neighbors are somewhat pleased beside the railroad trains, where the vague sense of the Union Pacific is with opssums of freeways and you, where the airplanes fill the plastic sky, where the fish are brightly colored on the lawn, where an underwater bird is pummeled on the sidestreet, where we take hallucinogens and wander through museums, where the people construct the atificial ponds, where
From the Editor: These poems are about real life. They will make you smile, square your jaw, lighten your load, heighten your step, and grow rebar in your spine.
They will lift you up, make you soar, and give you a view of the smallness of your problems.
They will help you think bigger, feel better, laugh harder, and eat your problems for breakfast. My first exposure to these poems came when I arrived home one day and was met by my wife Deborah at the door. With book in hand, she began to read poems with the express purpose of inspiring me. The first poem she read was, “It Couldn’t Be Done,” and I was hooked The book was originally published in 1921 and contained 239 poems. I have cut these down to my favorites — the ones my wife read to me in her quest to be a good helper of her husband by inspiring him that “It Can Be Done!” This is a book for the rescue of 21st Century manhood and womanhood. The world needs real men and women today. Our world is sick with feminized, soft, mollycoddling, sensitive males who are always looking for permission and affirmation and certification to do anything. These male maladies are ripping our culture apart. The average male today never grows up and rarely leads. He is an emotional basket case, constantly jerked around by his feelings — not governed by eternal principles. He is worried about his hair, spends his life playing games and has a therapist. The result is, he settles for “whatever.” Our world needs real women as well. It is reeling under the influence of dizzy ditzy women whose vision is centered around themselves.
It is languishing at the hands of women whose energy and joy have dissolved under the pressures of life. Instead, we need strong women who refuse to be unraveled or frightened by any fear.
The world is crying out for a new version of resolute visionary women who are able to rise above their disappointments to see the goal. They sacrifice their lives for their children and follow their men to the ends of the earth. “It Can Be Done!” by those who look hardship in the face, ready themselves for sacrifice and engage themselves in dominion.