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The word : Black writers talk about the transformative power of reading and writ
Marita Golden
Adult Nonfiction PS153.N5 W67 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In interviews with 13 black writers including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nikki Giovanni, and Edwidge Danticat, Golden (Migrations of the Heart) celebrates the pleasure of reading and writing spliced with personal glimpses of the contributors (late reader, straight-D student, ex-prisoner, college professor, illiterate mother, bookstore-owning father) that reveal the extraordinary diversity in literary tastes and habits. Even as many of the writers mention reading the canonical Du Bois, Hughes, Morrison, Ellison, and Baldwin, others are drawn to Madame Bovary and Madeline, Catch-22 and Carlyle. Essayists testify to the inspiration of particular teachers, the encouragement of other writers (two mention Gwendolyn Brooks specifically), and most frequently parental enabling and support. Golden's introduction is moving and often lyrical; her headnotes are succinct and helpful; her interviewer voice is muted, direct, and consistently directed toward letting the writer speak. "I tremble with anticipation each time I open a book," writes Golden. "I smile with satisfaction when I read the last page." Her readers will do the same. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Having had a desire "to talk to other writers about the texts that made them lifelong readers, changed their ideas about the world, and made them want to be writers," Golden (president, emeritus, Hurston/Wright Fdn.; Migrations of the Heart: An Autobiography) undertook interviews with 13 African American authors, including novelists, historians, and biographers. The results are divided into three sections: "Reading Beyond Borders," "Reading for the Mind," and "Reading for the Soul." Nikki Giovanni, J. California Cooper, and Chimamanda N. Adichie are three of the most recognized interviewees. Topics common to several interviews include influential books, libraries, and the practice of reading from a young age. Throughout the interviews, presented in transcript form, a love of the written word shines through. Each interview concludes with a short list of books recommended by that writer; some are surprising, such as Mat Johnson's nod to Charles Bukowski's Factotum. These lists alone will be of interest to book lovers. VERDICT This compilation will appeal to literature and creative writing students and those who enjoy books on reading and writing. Discussions of black authorship and race issues also make this a valuable resource for African American studies.-Stacy Russo, Chapman Univ. Libs., Orange, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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