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American Dreams written by Sapphire

 

American Dreams written by Sapphire

Overview:

In the tradition of Alice Walker, this electrifying new African American voice delivers the verdict on the urban condition in a sensual, propulsive, and prophetic book of poetry and prose.

Whether she is writing about an enraged teenager gone "wilding" in Central Park, fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins gunned down by a Korean grocer, or a brutalized child who grows up to escape her probable fate through the miracle of art, Sapphire's vision in this collection of poetry and prose is unswervingly honest.

"Stunning . . . . One of the strongest debut collections of the '90s."Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Alice Walker, this electrifying new African American voice delivers the verdict on the urban condition in a sensual, propulsive, and prophetic book of poetry and prose.

Whether she is writing about an enraged teenager gone "wilding" in Central Park, fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins gunned down by a Korean grocer, or a brutalized child who grows up to escape her probable fate through the miracle of art, Sapphire's vision in this collection of poetry and prose is unswervingly honest.

"Stunning . . . . One of the strongest debut collections of the '90s."—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

In one of the strongest debut collections of the 90s, this black lesbian feminist presents a fusion of poetry and prose, interspersed with short stories. Not for the squeamish, Sapphire's imagery is so fierce that readers will want to spread out the book over several sittings. Accounts of a young girl's rape by her father frame and inform all else, but Sapphire draws in irony as a buffer: in one extremely vivid poem, familiar phrases from the Mickey Mouse Club alternate with memories of assault. Early in her career, this writer felt the need to tell the stories of all victims (Tawana Brawley, the Central Park jogger, a nameless woman she meets on the bus), but to accomplish this she must adopt their emotional horrors as her own. ``Now that you know, / you can begin / to heal,'' the first poem ends. It is this commitment to human sensitivity that makes the terrifying exploits described here palatable. It also permits the narrator, 80 pages later, to describe the grief she feels at her mother's deathbed. Perfectly paced, sidestepping explication, Sapphire's words provide pointers to her characters' dramas, but she's still capable of stunning readers with a final image. (Feb.)

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Title: American Dreams

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