Friday Black
by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah


Overview -

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"An unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice." --Tommy Orange, New York Times Book Review

"An excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent and funny." --George Saunders

"Dark and captivating and essential . . . A call to arms and a condemnation . . . Read this book." --Roxane Gay

A National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree, chosen by Colson Whitehead
Winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for Best First Book


A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America.

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In "The Finkelstein Five," Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In "Zimmer Land," we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And "Friday Black" and "How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King" show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

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More About Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
 
 
 
Overview

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"An unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice." --Tommy Orange, New York Times Book Review

"An excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent and funny." --George Saunders

"Dark and captivating and essential . . . A call to arms and a condemnation . . . Read this book." --Roxane Gay

A National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree, chosen by Colson Whitehead
Winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for Best First Book


A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America.

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In "The Finkelstein Five," Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In "Zimmer Land," we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And "Friday Black" and "How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King" show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781328911247
  • ISBN-10: 1328911241
  • Publisher: Mariner Books
  • Publish Date: October 2018
  • Page Count: 208
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > African American - General
Books > Fiction > Satire
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Friday Black

With Friday Black, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah draws a connective thread through a collection of bleak and absurd short stories set in a satirical reality based on a socially and economically collapsing America.

The book leads with a parody of the present day, in which a chainsaw-wielding mass killer is exonerated for his racially motivated hate crime by a defense attorney who swoons a jury with invectives of “freedom.” Meanwhile, teenager Emmanuel troubles over his representative blackness on a 10-point scale as he takes part in the race riots immediately following the killer’s acquittal. Adjei-Brenyah deftly interweaves these two narratives to draw a parallel between the story’s stark reality and our own, illuminating the state of emergency that is blackness in present-day America.

After the opening story, Adjei- Brenyah pivots to a dystopian future in which the government has poisoned its own water supply. In this future, “emotional truth-clouding” is looked down on in favor of intelligence, pride and truthfulness.

The tales that follow are set along the timeline that stretches between these first two stories, from the near-future capitalist decline to the ensuing societal meltdown, offering up a bleak trajectory for humanity in which pride and profit slowly usurp care. The title story sees the narrator fighting off a zombified consumerist horde in the early hours of Black Friday. Trampling deaths and bite wounds are as normalized as the narrator’s disregard for the little remaining humanity of those infected with the “Friday Black.”

Each of Adjei-Brenya’s characters deals with the numbness that comes after the shock of death wears off—and the pain that arises when that shock doesn’t fade. This is a difficult read and a twisting meditation on a world where love’s gone missing.

 

This article was originally published in the November 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews