Friday Black: Book summary and reviews of Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Friday Black

by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah X
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
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About this book

Book Summary

A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America.

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In "The Finkelstein Five," Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In "Zimmer Land," we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And "Friday Black" and "How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King" show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

BookBrowse Review
The stories in Friday Black, focused as they are on the challenges of the black experience in America, are necessary and particularly relevant today. The wrenching poverty and attempts by average Black men to temper their "blackness" is heartbreaking. The extreme graphic violence though (children being beheaded is an example) makes the stories hard to stomach.

Other Reviews
"Starred Review. Adjei-Brenyah dissects the dehumanizing effects of capitalism and racism in this debut collection of stingingly satirical stories... Adjei-Brenyah has put readers on notice: his remarkable range, ingenious premises, and unflagging, momentous voice make this a first-rate collection." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Edgy humor and fierce imagery coexist in these stories with shrewd characterization and humane intelligence, inspired by volatile material sliced off the front pages...Corrosive dispatches from the divided heart of America." - Kirkus

"Tackling issues like criminal justice, consumerism, and racism, these timely stories are searching for humanity in a brutal world. The collection is both heartbreaking and hopeful." - The Millions

"The stories in this collection are aching and powerful dispatches on race, violence, and the modern world." - Southern Living

"The edge of the stories in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut collection Friday Black is razor sharp, ready to cut deep....Read this book. Marvel at the intelligence of each of these stories and what they reveal about racism, capitalism, complacency and their insidious reach." - Roxane Gay

"For literature to bring forth such an astonishing new voice as Nana K. Adjei-Brenyah's - tender and furious, wise and wise-assed - marks a major leap forward for us all...This is the fiction debut of the year, and I can't cheer it loudly enough. Bravo, young man. We await your encore." - Mary Karr

"These stories are an excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent and funny, yet classical in the way they take on stubborn human problems...The wildly talented Adjei-Brenyah has made these edgy tales immensely charming, via his resolute, heartful, immensely likeable narrators, capable of seeing the world as blessed and cursed at once." - George Saunders

"A striking collection, by turns witty, insightful and brutally honest. Adjei-Brenyah's inventive language conjures worlds with brevity, specificity and a dark, absurdist humor. An exciting voice." - Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and Sorry Please Thank You

"Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has written an exciting, dazzling collection of stories. He writes with a ferocious wit and a big heart. His inventive fictional worlds speak both directly and covertly to this political moment in unexpected and fresh ways. Friday Black marks the thrilling debut of an important new voice in fiction." - Dana Spiotta, author of the National Book Award finalist Eat the Document and Innocents and Others

"Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is a name you better get used to saying. The funny, uncompromising voice heard here for the first time, one that's not afraid to wander past the checkpoints of realism in order to get at the nature of the American real, will be with us for a long time to come. 'The Finkelstein Five' already reads like a classic, even though it stings like it was written this morning." - Jonathan Dee, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Privileges and The Locals

"Prescient, dark, and deeply empathetic, visceral and inventive, these stories announce Adjei-Brenyah as both an astute cultural critic and a truthteller." - Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People

"Adjei-Brenyah's haunting collection is a work of modern-day surrealism, offering us tales which speak to the travesties of our time' Adjei-Brenyah is a radical absurdist, telling truth-tales to help us all see our world more clearly." - Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World

"Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has a cool eye, bright mind, and high style. His stories are solid, they're unusual, imaginative, disturbing, wry, tender, funny... Writing this distinctive and good, especially in our uneasy time, is genuinely a cause for celebration." - Lynne Tillman, author of Men and Apparitions

"Riveting. Every word..In this impressive debut of a literary voice both new and edgy, we find an ancient griot telling stories of startling grace, gathering folk around the sacred fire and word by word forging the visions without which the people would perish. Testimony." - Arthur Flowers, author of Another Good Loving Blues and I See the Promised Land

This information about Friday Black shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is from Spring Valley, New York. He graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer's Row, Gravel, and The Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. Friday Black is his first book.

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