Award-winning writer Ntozake Shange and real-life sister, award-winning playwright Ifa Bayeza achieve nothing less than a modern classic in this epic story of the Mayfield family. Opening dramatically at Sweet Tamarind, a rice and cotton plantation on an island off South Carolina's coast, we watch as recently emancipated Bette Mayfield says her goodbyes before fleeing for the mainland. With her granddaughter, Eudora, in tow, she heads to Charleston. There, they carve out lives for themselves as fortune-teller and seamstress. Dora will marry, the Mayfield line will grow, and we will follow them on a journey through the watershed events of America's troubled, vibrant history - from Reconstruction to both World Wars, from the Harlem Renaissance to Vietnam and the modern day. Shange and Bayeza give us a monumental story of a family and of America, of songs and why we have to sing them, of home and of heartbreak, of the past and of the future, bright and blazing ahead.
Thorough dedication to their title theme transforms Some Sing, Some Cry into an unusually textured examination of mothers and daughters, as well as the shifting currents that guide them... For all the social brutality it exposes, and for all its intimate, more domestic griefs, Some Sing, Some Cry is not intended as a dark retrospective. In the midst of cruel circumstances, the women reinvent themselves with verve, maintaining a spirit of creativity as well as their own interpretations of dignity. (Reviewed by Karen Rigby).
This is a complex poetic treatise on race, culture, love, and family, the use of regional vernacular, dialect, and pure song, resulting in a provocative fictional history.
This family epic is likely to appeal to readers who love Roots and big generational novels that reconstruct African American history. With its depiction of strong, talented women, the novel may also be enjoyed by feminist readers.
Think of it as Roots with a treble clef - a confident, lively account of love, art and what falls between.
Starred Review. With music as a sustaining force, Shange and Bayeza's epic of courage, improvisation, and transcendence is glorious in its scope, lyricism, and spectrum of yearnings, convictions, and triumphs.
Annette Gordon-Reed, author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
In this epic saga, the sister-sister author combination of Bayeza and Shange offers a richly detailed and boldly colored account of one family's experience in slavery and its legacies for the generations that followed. Some Sing, Some Cry is both moving and arresting.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Barbara Sanders I Sang! I Cried! A triumph! What a stunning musical mosaic, an unforgettable symmetry of riveting characters who bring to life the courage, the redemption, the amazing perseverance of The Struggle For Freedom at all costs!
I could not put this book down. Thank... Read More
The Gullah (known as Geechee in Georgia and Florida) are descendants of West African slaves, whose numbers today range from 200,000-500,000.
The Gullah region traditionally extends along the coast from SE North Carolina, through Georgia to Northern Florida, including the Lowcountry region and its Sea Islands (see map at bottom left).
Geographic isolation, a marshy, malarial environment that often led to absentee plantation owners, and the fostering of close community ties allowed a distinct creole culture to develop. After the Civil War and emancipation, the Gullah's isolation increased as few outsiders were attracted to the area, and labor issues and a series of devastating hurricanes caused rice planters to abandon their farms. Thus, the Gullah were left alone to practice their traditional culture with little influence from the outside world well into the 20th century (the first bridges from the islands to the mainland were not built until the 1950s). As a result, the Gullah are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage...
Writer hired for fourth Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book(Dec 18 2013) The Swedish publisher of the late Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, has hired David Lagercrantz write a fourth novel which is...