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Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self | Danielle Evans
Introducing a new star of her generation, an electric debut story collection about mixed-race and African-American teenagers, women, and men struggling to find a place in their families and communities. When Danielle Evans's short story "Virgins" was published in The Paris Review in late 2007, it announced the arrival of a major new American short story writer. Written when she was only twenty-three, Evans's story of two black, blue-collar fifteen-year-old girls' flirtation with adulthood for one night was startling in its pitch-perfect examination of race, class, and the shifting terrain of adolescence. Now this debut short story collection delivers on the promise of that early story. In "Harvest," a college student's unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront her own feelings of inadequacy in comparison to her white classmates. In "Jellyfish," a father's misguided attempt to rescue a gift for his grown daughter from an apartment collapse magnifies all he doesn't know about her. And in "Snakes," the mixed-race daughter of intellectuals recounts the disastrous summer she spent with her white grandmother and cousin, a summer that has unforeseen repercussions in the present. Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self are based in a world where inequality is reality but where the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood, and the tensions within family and the community, are sometimes the biggest complicating forces in one's sense of identity and the choices one makes.
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quote
Bertha_Mason

"My balloon mirrored our walk in a hazy silver film: ELENA'SCHICKENARROZCONPOLLO29.99MANICUREANDPEDICUREPAWNSHOPKIM'SMARKETCALLHOMECHEAPPHONECARDS!"
-"Robert E. Lee Is Dead"

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Bertha_Mason

"Wherever You Go, There You Are" hurts so badly to read. It's an almost physical pain. The story hits so close to home.

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Bertha_Mason

"If her look was a smell, it would be grape bubble gum."
-"Wherever You Go, There You Are"

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Bertha_Mason

"We were in Vegas, which is a city I've always loved for its ability to be at once shameless about its fantasy self and honest about its real one, which is the only reason I've ever loved anything."
-"Wherever You Go, There You Are"

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Bertha_Mason

"Her face was pleasant but plain, her features so simple that if she were a cartoon she'd seem deliberately underdrawn."
-"Someone Ought to Tell Her There's Nowhere to Go"

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Bertha_Mason

"It was easy to be somebody else when no one cared who you were in the first place."
-"Virgins"

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Bertha_Mason
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-"Virgins"

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EchoLogical
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An account I follow on IG posted this and I've adapted it as a reading challenge for this year because clearly I'm slacking on important black reads. 😔 The items crossed out are things I have read. Everything else, I haven't. So if my #blitsyhistorymonth match is reading this... Hint hint!

#blackandbookedchallenge

IamIamIam Hidden Figures was spectacular!!! Those women were true heroes! 10mo
Tamra Great list! 10mo
LoverofLit Thank you for posting this! One of my goals for this year is to read more books by POC. 10mo
See All 11 Comments
ProfReader You have some great titles on your list. I read some of theses novels in college. 10mo
EchoLogical @IamIamIam I look forward to reading about them. 10mo
EchoLogical @Tamra I mostly agree but there are few here that I‘d never given a second look if not for this list, like Push and The Color Purple because I‘d imagine they‘re pretty difficult reads but I‘m trying to step a little outside of my comfort zone. 10mo
EchoLogical @LoverofLit Oh cool! Let me know if you read any of them. 🙂 10mo
Chelleo Great idea to post for your match! Try The Color Purple...it was a great read and relatively short. 10mo
EchoLogical @Chelleo Good to know! Don‘t revoke my black card for this but I‘ve never even seen the movie all the way through. 😬 10mo
Chelleo @EchoLogical Hold up! What?! Girl! 🤦🏾‍♀️ 10mo
EchoLogical @Chelleo The whole "struggly black people" narrative makes me angry and to top it off, I'm not much of a movie buff. There are tons of classics I haven't watched. ??‍♀️ 10mo
50 likes11 comments
review
marianese
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Pickpick

I loved this debut collection. Safe to say that it renewed my flagging faith in the realist short story. It was also fun because I'm familiar with the places in VA and surrounds where stories are set. Maybe 2 did not quite work for me but even those are worthwhile.

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RealLifeReading
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Claypot rice (with chicken and Chinese sausage) made in the rice cooker, stir fried snow peas and some amazing short stories, read to the tune of the rain pouring down outside.

No_One That looks amazing! Enjoy! 2y
RebelReader Yum! 2y
Joanne1 👌 2y
113 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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RealLifeReading
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Cheers!
We've just eaten some dinner - ravioli (the frozen kind) tossed with a browned butter lemon sauce with asparagus. The kids are playing and the husband is on the way home. Hooray!
Time to read and sip some Sapporo.

RealLifeReading I lied. I spent the past 30 minutes on Litsy and Facebook. 😅But I did drink my Sapporo. (edited) 2y
AlaMich That wins best title for the day, I think. 😊 2y
Zelma @RealLifeReading 😂 I feel like that‘s true whenever I post about reading time. 2y
RealLifeReading @AlaMich such a great title. And a great read too! 2y
RealLifeReading @Zelma haha glad it's not just me! 2y
127 likes1 stack add5 comments
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RealLifeReading
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Hopefully I'll get some reading done while the kids are at swim class. It's really noisy here today though as they're doing some construction at the pool! Wish I had brought some earphones.

107 likes3 stack adds
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RealLifeReading
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Coffee, cookie, all ready to read. How about you?

hermyknee Mmmm that cookie looks good! 2y
ohyeahthatgirl I love love loved this book! 2y
Blaire I just had the same. Great combo. 2y
See All 6 Comments
RealLifeReading @hermyknee thanks! It was! 😀 2y
RealLifeReading @ohyeahthatgirl her writing is really good! 2y
154 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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Heatherine
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Trying to finish this tonight.

10 likes1 stack add
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Bundoolin
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Pickpick

Absolutely loved this collection of short stories. Each story has unique characters and a unique voice, and I love the conflict and introspection. #libraryreads

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Bundoolin
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This story hit me right in the chest 😩😩

RadicalReader @Bundoolin what an awesome and powerful quote. I could quote quotes all day 2y
65 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Bundoolin
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Morning coffee and reading before I head off to teach some cello 👌💯☕️

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Bundoolin
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Excited to start this one tonight 👌 #eveningreads

kalinichta Excellent title. 2y
Megabooks It's very very good!! 2y
59 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Megabooks
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I've read some of The Hopefuls. I like it @Hazel0303 😃 I've listened to some of Radium Girls. Now it's short story time! @Notafraidofwords cheers on this one! 🥂

Hazel0303 So glad to hear! 3y
Notafraidofwords Yay, I love this one. I hope you totally get sucked in. 3y
ohyeahthatgirl I loved these stories! 3y
rachellayown Ooh, enjoy!! 3y
66 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Megabooks
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Okay, so I may be going a little crazy at Book Outlet. I've spent all I can afford on books this month. Gotta clamp down on the 💸💸💸

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I just ordered 3 books on Amazon to be delivered on a day my husband is at work!! 😳😱 3y
Reviewsbylola I made two orders last week. 🙈🙈 Gotta save myself for BOTM now! 3y
Megabooks @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Nice! 👍🏻 We're such enablers! 3y
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola Me too! I think I'm going to put my second account on hold this month. Yikes! $$$ 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 😂😂😂 3y
76 likes5 comments
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rachellayown
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Pickpick

I loved this collection. The first and last couple of stories were stellar, but really Evans is a strong writer and all the stories are good.

bookdrunkard78 Love the title! 3y
55 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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rachellayown
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My current reads, minus Quiet Power, an audio book I'm listening to with my kids. I always have too many books going at once. Right now is no exception. #booknerdproblems

55 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ohyeahthatgirl
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I've been in bed all day like this with a cold, but I did finish my first book for the #readharder challenge (all main characters are POC). It's a collection of short stories about complicated love and the small choices that change lives. I was hoping to read it and pass it on, but I know I'll come back to it.

Tanzy13 🐱 3y
Megabooks This is such a good book! 3y
25 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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ohyeahthatgirl
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I never stick to lists, but this year I'm going to commit to the Read Harder Challenge. I'm starting with a book in which every main character is a person of color. As usual, I hope to read more of the books I already own. Also, way more queer books. #readharder #readjanuary #bookishresolutions

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Arbol
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Bookstore cat decided to take a nap in my lap while I looked over potential purchases. Think I'm gonna be here a while. 😽

BookishMarginalia Awwwwww! 3y
Tanzy13 🐱 3y
22 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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LindsayReads
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I loved this collection of #shortstories for its ruminations on becoming an adult...both universal and unique, coming from the perspective of a young African American woman. #booktober #textonlycovers

19 likes2 stack adds
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Megabooks
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The next three! The other two are A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom and How They Met by David Levithan.

Have an excellent evening everyone! 🌝

Notafraidofwords Daniel Evans is awesome ! 3y
Megabooks @Notafraidofwords I just finished the first story, and it was amazing! I've never read her before, but I will in the future. 👍🏻 3y
Notafraidofwords @Ebooksandcooks I think this is her only book if I'm not mistaken. 3y
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Megabooks @Notafraidofwords Yup! You're right. Hopefully she'll come out with more in the future. We'll have to watch. 3y
Notafraidofwords @Ebooksandcooks I always check. I'm glad you're library decided to get it. 3y
ValerieAndBooks Sounds like bookspine poetry to me! 3y
Megabooks @ValerieAndBooks 😃😃📚 3y
59 likes1 stack add7 comments
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TzvetTzvetTzvet
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I had a Barnes and Noble gift card and ordered this book a few days ago. It finally came today! I've heard really good things about this collection of short stories, and I'm hoping to find time to read it sooner rather than later.

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