Heads of the Colored People : Stories
by Nafissa Thompson-Spires


Overview -
*PEN Open Book Award Winner*
*Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award and Aspen Words Literary Prize*
*Nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize*
*Kirkus Prize and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist*

Included in Best Books of 2018 Lists from Refinery29, NPR, The Root, HuffPost, Vanity Fair, Bustle, Chicago Tribune, PopSugar, and The Undefeated.

In one of the season's most acclaimed works of fiction--longlisted for the National Book Award and winner of the PEN Open Book Award--Nafissa Thompson-Spires offers "a firecracker of a book...a triumph of storytelling: intelligent, acerbic, and ingenious" (Financial Times).

Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with race, identity politics, and the contemporary middle class in this "vivid, fast, funny, way-smart, and verbally inventive" (George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo) collection.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous--two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids' backpacks--while others are devastatingly poignant. In the title story, when a cosplayer, dressed as his favorite anime character, is mistaken for a violent threat the consequences are dire; in another story, a teen struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with so-called black culture.

Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires "has taken the best of what Toni Cade Bambara, Morgan Parker, and Junot D az do plus a whole lot of something we've never seen in American literature, blended it all together...giving us one of the finest short-story collections" (Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division).

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More About Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
 
 
 
Overview
*PEN Open Book Award Winner*
*Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award and Aspen Words Literary Prize*
*Nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize*
*Kirkus Prize and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist*

Included in Best Books of 2018 Lists from Refinery29, NPR, The Root, HuffPost, Vanity Fair, Bustle, Chicago Tribune, PopSugar, and The Undefeated.

In one of the season's most acclaimed works of fiction--longlisted for the National Book Award and winner of the PEN Open Book Award--Nafissa Thompson-Spires offers "a firecracker of a book...a triumph of storytelling: intelligent, acerbic, and ingenious" (Financial Times).

Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with race, identity politics, and the contemporary middle class in this "vivid, fast, funny, way-smart, and verbally inventive" (George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo) collection.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous--two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids' backpacks--while others are devastatingly poignant. In the title story, when a cosplayer, dressed as his favorite anime character, is mistaken for a violent threat the consequences are dire; in another story, a teen struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with so-called black culture.

Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires "has taken the best of what Toni Cade Bambara, Morgan Parker, and Junot D az do plus a whole lot of something we've never seen in American literature, blended it all together...giving us one of the finest short-story collections" (Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division).

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501168000
  • ISBN-10: 1501168002
  • Publisher: 37 Ink
  • Publish Date: January 2019
  • Page Count: 224
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > African American - General
Books > Fiction > Humorous - General
Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)

 
BookPage Reviews

Book Clubs: February 2019

Top Pick: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
An Oprah’s Book Club pick in 2018, Tayari Jones’ electrifying fourth novel, An American Marriage, tells the story of Roy and Celestial, a newly married couple whose future looks bright. Celestial is an up-and-coming artist and Roy is a business executive, but their lives are shattered when the couple travels to Roy’s hometown in Louisiana, where he’s wrongfully accused of a terrible crime and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Jones presents a poignant portrait of the once-optimistic couple and the injustices they face as husband and wife during Roy’s incarceration. When he’s released after serving almost half his sentence, the pair struggles to resume their lives and regain a sense of normalcy. Told in part through the letters Roy and Celestial exchange while he’s imprisoned, Jones’ skillfully constructed narrative feels all too timely. It’s at once a powerful portrayal of marriage and a shrewd exploration of America’s justice system. 


The Girls in the Picture
by Melanie Benjamin

This richly atmospheric novel follows the friendship between silent-era screen queen Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion as they carve out careers in an industry dominated by men.


Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America
by Catherine Kerrison

Historian Kerrison uncovers the fascinating lives of Martha and Maria, Thomas Jefferson’s daughters with Martha Wayles Skelton, as well as Harriet, his daughter with Sally Hemings who forges a life for herself outside the bonds of slavery. 


Three Daughters of Eve
by Elif Shafak

Shafak explores feminism, politics and religion in modern Istanbul through this complex portrait of Peri, an affluent wife and mother.


Heads of the Colored People
by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award, these shrewdly observed, expertly crafted stories of the African-American experience signal the arrival of an important writer.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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