Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Stories

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In an era when writers of color are broadening the space in which class and culture as well as race are examined, Thompson-Spires’ auspicious beginnings augur a bright future in which she could set new standards for the short story.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era.

A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide—while others are devastatingly poignant—a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.

Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.
 

About Nafissa Thompson-Spires

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Published April 10, 2018 by Atria / 37 INK. 225 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Heads of the Colored People
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jan 23 2018

In an era when writers of color are broadening the space in which class and culture as well as race are examined, Thompson-Spires’ auspicious beginnings augur a bright future in which she could set new standards for the short story.

Read Full Review of Heads of the Colored People: ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Colin Grant on Sep 27 2018

These coolly ironic and grimly funny tales brim with snap and verve, and this is a debut collection of daring and aplomb.

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