I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots by Susan Straight

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Synopsis

A historic novel about a young woman forced to grow up quickly, and whose life—as well as those of her twin sons—changes with the current of the times

Beginning in the late 1950s, this novel tells the story of Marietta Cook, a tall girl growing up in Pine Gardens, a Gullah-speaking village in South Carolina. When Marietta’s mother passes, she heads to Charleston in search of her uncle—only to find a lover and return pregnant with twins two years later. She raises her sons back home in the low country before moving the family to Charleston, where she takes a growing interest in football and the civil rights movement. The boys grow huge and talented at the game, playing pro football in California. A new world and new travails await, but Marietta’s great resilience endures.

This is the life of an extraordinary soul, and a novel with a beautifully vivid sense of place.
 

About Susan Straight

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Novelist and short story writer Susan Straight graduated from Amherst College in 1984. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of California in Riverside. Aquaboogie, her first collection of short stories, won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and was one of Publishers Weekly's best paperbacks (1990). I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots was named one of 1992's best novels by both Publishers Weekly and USA Today. It was also a New York Times Notable Book.
 
Published August 6, 2013 by Open Road Media. 526 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots

Kirkus Reviews

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Straight (a story collection, Aquaboogie, 1990) here offers a first novel about a black woman and her two professional football- playing sons--in a debut notable especially for its evocation of place and its sure-handed use of patois.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set primarily in a tiny Gullah-speaking village in South Carolina, Straight's elegant coming-of-age novel--a BOMC selection in cloth--is as monumental as the tall, taciturn woman whose life it traces.

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Publishers Weekly

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Elegantly constructed and eloquently written, Straight's ( Aquaboogie ) second book is a coming-of-age novel of grand proportions.

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