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Heads of the Colored People
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Daz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes. Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorousfrom two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicidewhile others are devastatingly poignanta new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture. Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.
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review
Paloverde
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Pickpick

Powerful, witty, smart and thought-provoking short stories about black identity but also relationships, psychology and society.

LitsyWelcomeWagon Welcome to Litsy! Here are links to #Litsytips: http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU. There‘s lots of fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! #litsywelcomewagon 2mo
SW-T Welcome to Litsy 😊 2mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🎈🎉👏🏻 2mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 👻📚👻 2mo
Readswithcoffee Welcome to Litsy! ☕️📚📚📚☕️ 2mo
3 likes5 comments
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Bertha_Mason
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires

"The analogy he was searching for to describe Lisbeth, Mike realized, was Little Edie twirling, or maybe Gloria in _They Shoot Horses, Don't They?_"
-"The Subject of Consumption"

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triplem80
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Definitely an attention-grabbing way to start a story!

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KatieDid927
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

I love a great short story collection and this book delivered. I did find the stories a little uneven with some packing a punch of brilliance while others were quickly forgettable, but overall this was an excellent read. I look forward to what she writes next.

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KatieDid927
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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1. Frostbeard candles. (Not my pic, was too lazy so stole one off Google.)
2. Nope, not a tattoo gal.
3. Pins and totes. Can‘t have too many. I could use a nice book sleeve.
4. Frostbeard again! If I get you in a swap, chances are you‘ll get one. (Ran out of room in the MALS box tho! 😩)
5. I‘ve loved all the themes I‘ve participated in. I would love to see a swap centered around the classics or feminism.

#HelloThursday @wanderinglynn

wanderinglynn Thanks for playing! 📚 8mo
Sharpeipup I used to live down the street from Frostbeard! 7mo
24 likes3 comments
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Becker
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Each story was consistently good. That doesn‘t usually happen in a collection. Yet overall I thought it was a good collection- not a great one.

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j9brown
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

An excellent little collection of shorts. The first and the last stories pack a serious punch, but each one had something to say.

KatieDid927 This looks up my alley. 10mo
40 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Naominats
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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I couldn‘t draw the bodies while the heads talked over me, and the mosaic formed in blood, and what is a sketch but a chalk outline done in pencil or words? And what is a black network narrative but the story of one degree of separation, of sketching the same pain over and over, wading through so much flesh trying to draw new conclusions, knowing that wishing would not make them so?

1 like1 stack add
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Expandingbookshelf
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Spending my night digging into this short story collection. So far, it‘s fabulous...

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Alicia
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Hello Litsy!!! I apologize for my long absence. Holidays, work and a new side hustle I started have taken their toll. But I knew I had to post today because I just finished this amazing book of short stories. Run, don‘t walk to your bookstore and get yourself a copy. The book was at times laugh out loud funny, gut wrenching, incredibly sad and profound. I would give this book as many stars as I could.

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Floresj
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Great compilation of sharply written short stories! Each one left me with wanting to read more about the characters and plot line. I love short stories and this book was no exception!

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cocomass
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Just past the #24in48 halfway mark and I‘ve finished my first book! I really enjoyed this collection of loosely linked, often funny (and highly relatable for me) short stories about black middle class life, mostly set in Southern California. Favorites include The Necessary Changes Have Been Made, Not Today Marjorie, This Todd, A Conversation about Bread, and the titular story. 4/5 ⭐️

#blitsy

Angitron I absolutely loved this book!!! 11mo
cocomass @Angitron I‘m excited to see what she writes next! I‘d love to see a full novel. 11mo
ReadosaurusText This was one of my favorite books from last year!!! Best edited collection I think I‘ve ever read. 10mo
44 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Hooked_on_books
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Wow, this collection of linked stories is unflinching, brutal and in your face. More than once, it made me exclaim aloud. 5⭐️ for sure.

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cocomass
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Digging into this smart story collection on my way home from celebrating #MLK with my sister, and I‘m loving it!

#blitsy

PS Go see If Beale Street Could Talk!

suzisteffen Adding to the library requests! Thank you. Second rec I‘ve heard for this book. (And ooooh Beale Street 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍) 11mo
53 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Peaceful_Reader
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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I‘m enjoying this book of short stories on this snowy weekend.

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TsahaiMakeda
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

This! Great story telling and I loved the way the characters flowed in and out of the stories.

sprainedbrain This sounds amazing. 11mo
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lauralovesbooks1
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

One of the best short story collections that I have read in a while. Thompson Spires is amazing at creating believable, nuanced characters in just a few pages, and is wickedly sharp in her dialogue and use of humor, even while exploring tough subjects. Definitely worth picking up - looking forward to more from this author .

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Angitron
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

I was completely blown away by this short story collection. Loosely connected, each story focuses on the lives of middle class African-Americans. The stories are funny at times, but heartbreaking in equal measure, and there‘s not a bad one in the bunch. Amazing and highly recommended!

cocomass Oooh I have this my nightstand and am going to start it today! 11mo
Angitron @cocomass I literally had the chills when I finished! Hope you enjoy it! 😊 11mo
Tamra I need to bump this up! 11mo
Angitron @Tamra 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 11mo
26 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Peaceful_Reader
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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I‘m reading this with some friends. If the first story is any indication I‘m going to love her writing.

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razmanda
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Such a great reading year! My top 18 picks.

Christine Such good picks!! 11mo
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ReadingEnvy
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

I had missed this book before it was included in the Tournament of Books longlist. It is a collection of stories, often connected in small ways, conveying the ridiculous realities of the suburban middle class. My favorite was probably the mothers writing letters to one another with increasing drama, and one of those children reflecting on her life while sweating through her yoga class.

Ruthiella That‘s what I love about the TOB more than any other book prize: the exposure to works I would otherwise be unaware of! 😀 12mo
ReadingEnvy @Ruthiella totally... I'm on to 12mo
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ReadosaurusText
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

This short story collection is genius. Each story is strong, and the care with which Nafissa Thompson-Spires crafted them together—well, I just can‘t underscore its brilliance enough. This book restores my faith in short story collections. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

8little_paws Completely agree. This one really knocked my socks off 13mo
41 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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ReadosaurusText
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Okay, I just finished the first story in this collection, and my mind is blown. Incredible. 💙📚💙📚

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Lindy
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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She wouldn‘t look like the Lady of Shalott with her new weave framing her face as she lay back in a boat, or even Anne of Green Gables as the Lady of Shalott or even Megan Fellows as Anne of Green Gables as the Lady of Shalott, because her natural hair wasn‘t even red, and anyway, she‘d read that when black women died it wasn‘t glamorous & people didn‘t make metonymic literary connections about them […] black women‘s bodies just died, out of frame

Lindy [quote cont.] and that made her sadder. 13mo
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Lindy
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Thompson-Spires writes with refreshing verve, tackling troubling issues of contemporary society, unafraid of unlikeable protagonists. Her loosely interlinked short stories showcase the diversity of middle class African Americans. Whip smart, innovative and funny.

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Lindy
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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He was two shades lighter than Brian, but also believed himself two shades blacker, as far as those things can be measured.

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Lindy
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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I really hope that in addition to help for her lies and early signs of psychosis, you will get Christinia some help for her weight problem before she ends up—and I say this respectfully, so I hope you won‘t be offended in the least—like you.

saresmoore This is from the story that proved to be most memorable for me. So vindictive! 13mo
Lindy @saresmoore So passive aggressive! The ending surprised me, however. 13mo
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razmanda
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

This is an astonishing collection of loosely connected short stories, all focused on the realities of being black in America. It‘s at turns haunting and hilarious and always, always surprising. Fantastic recommendation from Book Riot‘s TBR!

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razmanda
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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View from my hotel room. Conference life this week!

Becker Hearing nothing but positive things about this 14mo
23 likes1 comment
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mklong
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Another solid choice from the National Book Award long list. A collection of short stories that examines middle class Black American lives. Thompson-Spires shows a wickedly dark sense of humor in many of these stories and an aching poignancy in others. The last story, especially, shattered me.

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Redwritinghood
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

From the NBA longlist - a look at black identity in America, especially the black middle class. Many of the stories look at people who don‘t fit into the standard black identity - they like manga, have a white SO, talk differently - and how they are often judged by others in the black community. Many of these stories are quite funny, but they have serious undertones about contemporary issues, such as the frequent killings of unarmed black men. 4⭐️

Megabooks Sounds good 👍🏻 1y
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mauveandrosysky
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Okay, WOW. This phenomenal collection blends sharp satire and poignant realism to cut to the heart of black identity in modern life. The playful form/structure echoes George Saunders. I loved it to the point of giddiness.

Well-ReadNeck Yassss! I felt the same way! ❤️ 1y
saresmoore Right?! I loved this. 1y
28 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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catiewithac
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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It‘s Fall and time to open the #fallingforfallswap box! Thank you @Chelleo for the lovely books and autumnal gifts! I‘m super excited to read the tagged book! Thanks @Avanders for organizing this lovely #litsyswap 🤓

Chelleo 🤗 (edited) 1y
Avanders ❤️🧡💛🎃🍁🍂😍 and those socks!! 1y
catiewithac I‘ve already eaten all the caramels!! 🐷 1y
Chelleo @catiewithac I made the mistake of buying some for our house...my husband and boys never even laid eyes on them! 🐷🐷 1y
40 likes4 comments
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8little_paws
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Fantastic collection!! A lot on the themes of Blackness and performance, and about how both others in and out of your community view you. Lots about microaggressions and perceptions-- this collection also touches a lot on physical disability as well. I can't think of anything else like it.

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amma-keep-reading
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Pickpick

do i enjoy the author's writing style? yes.

did i finish the book? yes.

did the book meet my expectations? not exactly.

i don't know what i expecting but it different and i enjoyed MOST of the stories. i liked that some of the characters in various stories were connected but i wish their stories made more sense to me... i can definitely see myself returning to reread this collection at a later date. maybe i should try the audiobook.

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SW-T
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Bailedbailed

Just couldn‘t get into these short stories, so stopped reading them. To me, this collection felt like overly cerebral class projects instead of short stories. Definitely for other readers, though it‘ll be interesting to see what she does in the future.

#shortstories #shorts

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saresmoore
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

I‘ve taken a day to mull this over (and forget the author blurbs on the back cover) and I can safely say that this is an excellent, unique, and powerfully timely short story collection. Thompson-Spires is sharp as a tack & her characters have enough depth to fill volumes, but reveal just enough to keep the reader enthralled on a few pages. Some of the stories were unexpected, others deeply moving, all of them smart and engrossing.

marianese Reallly want to read this one! 2y
saresmoore @marianese I heartily recommend it! 2y
Moray_Reads The story with the letters between the two mothers is hilarious and feels worryingly true-to-life. The spiralling pettiness, name-calling and internalised racism/colourism is brilliantly don't 1y
saresmoore @Moray_Reads Yes, I totally agree. That one was affecting for me because it was infuriating and yet I still empathized with both perspectives. 1y
104 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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spinesvines
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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I‘m closing out the final week of short story month with these beauties! What short story collection have you read this month?

#spinesvines #books #wine #shortstorymonth #shortstories #diversespines #memorialday #blackswans #evebabitz #headsofthecoloredpeople #nafissathompsonspires #whatitmeanswhenamanfallsfromthesky #lesleynnekaarimah

Weaponxgirl I'm reading this book in translation and loving it right now. A dark fairytale vibe. 2y
CSeydel How did I miss that it was short story month? I am hosting the short story swap! I read Night Shift earlier this month, and I have this one ready to go: 2y
UrsulaMonarch I‘m reading 2/3 of those pictured but have not heard of Black Swans! How is it? 1y
11 likes1 stack add3 comments
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TheWildCard
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Know what really stinks? Leaving the book you‘re reading at work. CRAP. 🤬

BookishMe UUUGHH 2y
TheWildCard @BookishMe I know! Bleh. 2y
C.Perone THE worst!! 2y
Djspens I'd probably buy it on Kindle..... 2y
8 likes4 comments
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Nickinpa
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Pickpick

I don‘t usually enjoy short story collections but I whipped right through these. She‘s a good writer. Many of the stories had links.

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nsol
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

I haven't successfully read at bedtime in almost forever, until last night. This new book is fabulous so far. Please excuse my also-new obsession with the Litsy stickers.

18 likes1 stack add
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amypoeppel
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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So excited to read these stories!!

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EchoLogical
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Turned on NPR a few minutes ago, stumbled upon an interview with author Nafissa Thompson-Spires and found myself nodding throughout the entire thing. I'm definitely gonna read this. I might even buy it first! 😆

https://www.npr.org/2018/04/10/601184986/heads-of-the-colored-people-takes-on-th...

EchoLogical @Chelleo Have you seen this one? 2y
Chelleo @EchoLogical I have not but will definitely check it out! I caught the tail end of an interview about the first black celebrity today...wonder if it was part of this interview? 2y
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EchoLogical @Chelleo I'm not sure. 🤔 I caught the tail end of this myself and looked it so I could share it with my husband and make him read it with me. 😅 2y
EchoLogical Looked it up* 2y
Chelleo @EchoLogical this is timely for a Fb group I‘m in too. Thanks for sharing! 2y
Chelleo @EchoLogical Are you in the We here group? 2y
EchoLogical @Chelleo I'm not. I haven't even heard of it. I've been slacking. 😣 2y
Chelleo @EchoLogical description: supportive community of librarians and archivers of color. It‘s closed though so if you‘re interested I‘d need to invite you. 2y
EchoLogical @Chelleo Library assistants welcome? 👀 2y
Chelleo @EchoLogical I‘m pretty sure. 2y
EchoLogical @Chelleo Cool. I'm in. 2y
Chelleo @EchoLogical Send me your email address/FB name to chelleo.michelle@gmail.com 2y
63 likes3 stack adds13 comments
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Liberty
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Today is an incredible day for new books! This is just a small sampling of the awesome titles out today! 📚🎉❤️

Mdargusch I love this photo! ❤️ 2y
The_Heeler_Booklife I‘m reading Circe and love it. 2y
bookandcat Awesome! Also: Eve Babitz is my favorite new (old) discovery. I adored her book 2y
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DivineDiana @allthingskayla I‘m going to see the author tonight! 2y
Pluey865 I have Circe and can‘t wait to start it soon! 2y
The_Heeler_Booklife @DivineDiana That is so awesome! I hope you have fun tonight. 😊 Meeting authors are super fun. Let me know how it goes. 😊 (edited) 2y
StellarDoc I just finished Unbury Carol and really liked it. 2y
laundry_piles I can't wait to read the new Malerman book! 2y
erinreads Any must reads in this lot? 2y
meganlynae Space Opera. So excited to start this one soon. 2y
193 likes4 stack adds10 comments
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balletbookworm
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Thompson-Spires bookended dark, satirical stories about being black in America (including one about two feuding mothers who communicate thru notes in their daughters‘ schoolbags, another about an able-bodied woman who develops a fixation on men with physical disabilities - ingenious commentary about white men who objectify WOC) with two moving pieces about the violence perpetrated on young black men by law enforcement. The writing/form are superb.

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Well-ReadNeck
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

This is a fabulous short story collection. The stories are connected on that the main characters show up in other stories in a supporting roll. So smart, sharp and funny. There is not a single miss in the entire collection. #netgalley

Cinfhen Good to know! 2y
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Mixedreader
Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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Pickpick

Grateful to read a #galley of this one. Excellent book of short stories that finds its characters in processes of self discovery and confronting truth. Sharply written and so readable.

BellaBookNook Love that cover! It sounds interesting. 2y
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