Excerpt from Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Getting Mother's Body

by Suzan-Lori Parks

Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks X
Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2003, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2004, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Laz is just Laz," I says.

"His daddy runs the funeral home but Laz ain't never gonna be running shit," Snipes says, laughing hard and squeezing my hand to get me to laugh too and I laugh till his squeezing hurts and I make him let go.

"Today's Wednesday, ain't it?" Snipes says. He looks down the road, seeing his upcoming appointments in his head. "I'm free towards the end of the week. Let's get married on Friday."

"Really?"

"Friday's the day," he says, taking out his billfold. He peeks the money part open with his pointer and thumb, then he feathers the bills, counting. His one eyebrow lifts up, surprised.

"That's what you call significant," he says.

"Significant?"

"What year is it?"

" 'Sixty-three."

"And here I got sixty-three dollars in my billfold," he says smiling.

He pinches the bills out, folding them single-handed. He reaches over to me, lifting my housedress away from my brassiere and tucking the sixty-three dollars down between my breasts.

"Get yrself a wedding dress and some shoes and a one-way bus ticket."

"I'ma go to Jackson's Formal."

"Get something pretty. Come up to Texhoma tomorrow. We can do it Friday."

"You gonna get down on yr knee and ask me?"

"You come up tomorrow and I'll get down on my knee in front of my sister and her kids and ask you to marry me. Hell, I'll get down on both knees. Then we can do it Friday."

"How bout today you meet Aunt June and Uncle Teddy?" I says.

"Today I gotta go to Midland," he says.

"It'll only take a minute."

"I don't got a minute," he says. He looks at me. He got lips like pillows. "Have em come to Texhoma Friday. They can watch us get married. I'll meet em then."

"When they come up you gotta ask me to marry you on yr knees in front of them too," I says. "They'd feel left out if they didn't see it since you'll be asking me in front of yr sister and her kids and yr mother and dad—"

"My mother and dad won't be making it," Snipes says.

"How come?"

"They's passed," he says. He starts up the car, turning it around neatly and pulling it into the road, heading back towards Lincoln. On Friday my new name will be Mrs. Clifton Snipes.

"I was ten when Willa Mae passed," I says.

"Willa Mae who?"

"Willa Mae Beede. My mother," I says.

Snipes takes his hand off the wheel to scratch his crotch. His foot is light on the gas pedal. There's a story about my mother. All these months I been seeing Snipes, I didn't know whether or not he'd heard it. Now I can tell he has.

Excerpted from Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks Copyright© 2003 by Suzan-Lori Parks. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Last Mrs. Parrish
    The Last Mrs. Parrish
    by Liv Constantine
    Amber has lived in poverty all her life, and she has had enough. Of course, wishing to have money ...
  • Book Jacket: Never Coming Back
    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee
    18 out of 23 reviewers gave Alison McGhee's Never Coming Back a rating of 4 or 5, with an average ...
  • Book Jacket: Solar Bones
    Solar Bones
    by Mike McCormack
    Written in a poetic, line-breaking style, Mike McCormack's Solar Bones reads with a breathless ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Strangers in Budapest
    by Jessica Keener

    Strong characters and a riveting plot combine in this psychological thriller set in Budapest.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don'...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.