This is a collection of fifteen short stories by a new Negro writer, which was first published in England. Written in Negro dialect, in a deceptively simple style, these very brief stories mainly concern the Jessup family -- James, deacon in his church, his son Aaron, their friends -- and are told from their several viewpoints. The author has a method here he calls ""signifying"" (the title of one of the stories) which involves calling attention to the unremarkable in a situation and which results in an extremity of ironic understatement. This approach can be very humorous but often produces merely a heightening of the trivial and many of the stories are of little consequence. Covering many phases of Negro life and various moods the collection presents: Suzie Q. who caused the narrator to lose his job, weight, and landed him in jail; a razor fight in Big Boy; the death of a young boy who was caught in quick-sand in The Dozens; the deacon's effort to get his girl out of trouble in A Sound of Screaming; and the longest piece, School-days in North Carolina, the only obviously autobiographical story.