Black Girl, Call Home

Jasmine Mans. Berkley, $15 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-593-19714-1
Mans (Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels) reframes the classic bildungsroman as a book-length poem sequence in this bold take on race, gender, and sexuality. Gorgeously precise in their diction, these poems span a range of forms, including lists, lyric strophes, aphorisms, and found language, and are unified by a shared investment in posing complex sociopolitical questions through deceptively simple personal narratives. For example, in “Momma Said Dyke at the Kitchen Table,” she writes: “Momma said/ so you gonna be a dyke now?// As if she meant to say,/ don’t you know/ how hard it already is.” Like many poems in the book, these lines call attention to structures of privilege and oppression within the Black community. Mans investigates the sources of division within historically marginalized groups with an emphasis on toxic masculinity: “I’ve never seen my father cry/ or speak of his mother’s death./ He doesn’t talk about his brother,/ the one that passed away.” Mans refuses binary distinctions, revealing that the ways society thinks of masculine power proves as harmful to men as it does to women. This is a timely and powerful book. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2021
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Poetry
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-19715-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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