A really good short story collection can give the reader a brief moment of being someone else, of immediately inhabiting the brain of another person. Instead of taking the length of a novel to mentally absorb the world the author has built or described, a short story takes you on a quicker walk in someone else’s shoes.
All of these new collections do this over and over again. Written by Black authors from different countries, of different ages and from different life experiences, they masterfully find the moments in life when people’s personalities change – either deliberately or inadvertently.
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Short stories explore the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.