Bursting with energy and innovation, the second volume in the annual anthology collects the year's best short stories by African American authors.
Dealing with all aspects of life from the pain of war to the warmth of family, the superb tales in Best African American Fiction 2010 are a tribute to the stunning imaginations thriving in today's African American literary community. Chosen by this year's guest editor, the legendary Nikki Giovanni, these works delve into international politics and personal histories, the clash of armies and of generations—and come from such publications as The New Yorker, Harper's, The Kenyon Review, and Callaloo.
In "Ghosts," Edwidge Danticat portrays an aspiring radio talk show host in Bel Air—which some call the Baghdad of Haiti—who is brutally scapegoated, and in "Three Letters, One Song & a Refrain," Chris Abani gives a searing account of the violent life of a thirteen-year-old member of a Burmese hill tribe. Jeffery Renard Allen dramatizes the mysterious arrival in Harlem of a child's hated grandmother, and Wesley Brown fictionalizes the life of the great saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, with cameo appearances by Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, and other immortals. John Edgar Wideman contributes dense and textured "Microstories" that interweave everything from taboo sex acts to Richard Wright's last works to murder in a modern family. Desiree Cooper depicts a debutante from Atlanta moving to Detroit, "a city where there's no place to hide," while in "Been Meaning to Say" by Amina Gautier, a widower gets an unforgettable holiday visit from his resentful daughter.
From Africa to Philadelphia, from the era of segregation to the age of Obama, the times and places, people and events in Best African American Fiction 2010 reveal inconvenient truths through incomparable fiction.
About the Author
Gerald Early is the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies, and director of the Center for Humanities at Washington University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the editor of several volumes, including This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s; The Sammy Davis Jr. Reader; Body Language: Writers on Sport; Speech and Power; Lure and Loathing: Essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation; and My Soul's High Song: The Collected Works of Countee Cullen, as well as the author of The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism; One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture; Daughters: On Family and Fatherhood; and Tuxedo Junction.
Nikki Giovanni has written many books of poetry for children and adults. She is the author of "Rosa", a Caldecott Honor book, "Lincoln and Douglass", "The Genie in the Jar", and "Ego-tripping and Other Poems for Young People". Giovanni calls herself, "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." She was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Lincoln Heights, an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied at Fisk University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, "Black Feeling Black Talk", in 1968, and since then has become one of America's most widely read poets. Oprah Winfrey named her as one of her twenty-five "Living Legends." Her autobiography "Gemini" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and several of her books have received NAACP Image Awards. She has received some twenty-five honorary degrees, been named Woman of the Year by "Mademoiselle Magazine", "The Ladies Home Journal" and "Ebony", was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and has been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. Nikki Giovanni lives in Christiansburg, Virginia, where she is a professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.