Literary Wives: An American Marriage

The marriage of Celestial and Roy is mediated by bars: prison bars. They are a young black couple who is torn apart when Roy is falsely accused of rape (Celestial was with him when it was supposed to have happened) and he is sentenced to 12 years in prison. After he is incarcerated (a very... Continue Reading →

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Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad: A Metaphor

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (2016) tricked me for a moment. It portrays the famous underground railroad, a network of abolitionists and volunteers who helped slaves escape the south and head north in nineteenth century America, as an actual railroad with trains and tunnels. I thought that I had somehow missed something in history classes,... Continue Reading →

Loving the Books of Rita Williams-Garcia

My kids and I are ready for summer. Perhaps even a “crazy summer.” But I suspect that any summer plans we make or carry out will not be as crazy as the summer the Gaither sisters have in Oakland, California, in Rita Williams-Garcia’s book One Crazy Summer (2010). Delphine, age ten, and her younger sisters... Continue Reading →

Must Read: Ta-Nehisi Coates

I've been hearing buzz about Ta-Nehisi (pronounced Tah Neh-hah-see) Coates's work for a few months now, so I decided to "read" his book Between the World and Me (2015) by listening to it while driving to and from school. It is a heavy book, one that I wish I had been able to take notes... Continue Reading →

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