The Fluency of Light by Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White (Sightline Books)

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In these intertwined essays on art, music, and identity, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, the daughter of African American and Italian American parents, examines the experience of her mixed-race identity. Embracing the far-ranging stimuli of her media-obsessed upbringing, she grasps at news clippings, visual fragments, and lyrics from past and present in order to weave together a world of sense.
Art in all forms guides the author toward understanding concepts like blackness, jazz, mortality, riots, space, time, self, and other without falling prey to the myth that all things must exist within a system of binaries. Recalling her awkward attempts at coolness during her childhood, Sabatini Sloan evokes Thelonious Monk’s stage persona as a metaphor for blackness. Through the conceptual art of Adrian Piper, the author is able to understand what is so quietly menacing about the sharp, clean lines of an art gallery where she works as an assistant. The result is a compelling meditation on identity and representation. 

About Aisha Sabatini Sloan

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Aisha Sabatini Sloan earned her MA in cultural studies and studio art at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and her MFA in creative writing at the University of Arizona. She taught writing at the University of Arizona for six years and is currently studying to become a yoga instructor.  
Published March 15, 2013 by University Of Iowa Press. 144 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Her mother is white; her father is black; her search is for light and illumination. “Between blackness and whiteness” Sloan asserts, “brightness holds clues about what connects one side to the other.”

Jan 28 2013 | Read Full Review of The Fluency of Light: Coming ...

In “Resolution in Bearing,” scenes from Claire Denis’s 35 Shots of Rum, Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas, and her father’s home videos cast their lights and shadows on how isolation, independence and a sense of loss tinged the author’s teenage summer with him in Paris.The story of her Italian grandfath...

Oct 24 2013 | Read Full Review of The Fluency of Light: Coming ...

Here Sloan, the daughter of an African American father and Italian American mother, writes of her experiences growing up in the 1980s and 1990s in Southern California. In each chapter, she weaves an autobiographical thread with her experience of a person, thing, or event that impacted her life: T...

Apr 05 2013 | Read Full Review of The Fluency of Light: Coming ...

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