An eloquently provocative anthology.

READ REVIEW

WELL-READ BLACK GIRL

FINDING OUR STORIES, DISCOVERING OURSELVES

A book club founder and creative strategist gathers pieces from distinguished black females to celebrate “the legacy of Black women in literature,” which is “extensive, diverse, and beautifully complicated.”

Well-Read Black Girl founder Edim writes that “[s]torytelling is an extension of [African-American] sisterhood.” In this book, she highlights black literary achievement by offering first-person narratives from noted writers, activists, and intellectuals along with recommendations for further reading. In each essay, the contributor discusses her relationships to reading, books, and the world, yet each bears the unique experiential imprint of the woman who wrote it. In “Magic Mirrors,” two-time National Book Award–winning novelist Jesmyn Ward explores storytelling and representation. A favorite childhood book—Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth—depicted a rarity for that time: a black girl who “harbor[ed] the power of magic.” But because the girl did not narrate her own story, Ward felt cheated. Only after she began writing her own stories was she able to find the “mirror” literature had been unable to offer her. Edim’s interview with Rebecca Walker deals less with literary reflections and more with the truth-telling power of words. Walker discusses how witnessing a man beating a woman in the street and then writing about the incident for her high school newspaper made her aware of just how important storytelling could be. It could give voice to the voiceless and socially marginalized and spotlight those “challenging the status quo.” Barbara Smith, lesbian activist and co-founder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, discusses how reading saved her during the culturally repressive 1950s and how her own awakening came after reading the works and “miraculous language” of James Baldwin—in particular, his hetero- and homosexually explicit novel Another Country. Candid and thoughtful from start to finish, Edim’s collection amply celebrates the many paths black women have traveled on the road to self-definition. Other contributors include Tayari Jones, Jacqueline Woodson, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and N.K. Jesimin.

An eloquently provocative anthology.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-61977-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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