A collection of poetry and fiction by 57 African-American women. What's interesting about the choices that Sherman (One Dark Body, 1993, etc.) has made is that, despite the title's assertion of a collective identity, so many of them are so doggedly individualistic and self-expressive. The voices doing the expressing inhabit a range from the emotionally and aesthetically naÃ¯ve to the sophisticated, and Sherman's organization of the book implies a process of evolution by which black women gain, individually, their voices and, collectively, their solidarity: The first section is called ""Becoming Fluent,"" and the final section is called ""A New Kinda Woman."" There are also sections on sex, violence, aging, being in love with men, and being an artist. Contributors include bell hooks, Paule Marshall, ntozake shange, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, as well as other, newer voices.