Best African American Fiction 2010

Gerald Early, Editor, Nikki Giovanni, Editor . Ballantine/One World $25 (313p) ISBN 978-0-553-80690-8

Series editor, culture critic and essayist Early and guest editor Giovanni, the noted poet and children's author (Hip Hop Speaks to Children ), do an outstanding job of choosing important and stirring short stories and novel excerpts from outstanding authors for this second volume in the series. Ranging from historical to contemporary pieces that cover African and multicultural issues, the standouts are many: Maria Eliza Hamilton Abegunde's “The Ariran's Last Life,” the reflections of a former African slave; Desiree Cooper's tale of a pregnant Detroit wife who fears a terrifying “Night Coming”; Edwidge Danticat's inspired story “Ghosts,” which evokes life in Haiti; Glenville Lovell's “Out of Body,” about the brutal awakening of an undertaker's son; Jewell Parker Rhodes's African vampire-haunted “Yellow Moon,” a novel excerpt about Dr. Marie Levant, descendant of voodoo queen Marie Laveau; Colson Whitehead's wonderfully rueful BB gun memory, “The Gangsters”; and Dorothy Sterling's poignant YA novel excerpt, “Mary Jane.” The collection gives a glorious overview of black literature published in 2010 in a volume that's not to be missed. (Jan .)

Reviewed on: 10/19/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
Genre: Pick of the Week
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