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HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE

Nafissa Thompson-Spires

  • Original Title: HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE
  • Publication date: April 2018
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Country: US
  • 208 print pages
  • Short stories

Information

  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: United States
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Personal fulfilment, Identity crisis, Initiation journey, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Racism, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Multiculturalism, Integration, Accepting differences, Inequality

Pitch

A collection of sketches and portraits of modern young black people coping or failing to cope with ordinary life.

Comments

Amazon Studios has hired playwright Antoinette Nwandu to write the film adaptation for the short story WASH CLEAN THE BONES.

Longlisted for the 2019 Gordon Burn Prize
Winner of the PEN Open Book Award 2019.
Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Awards longlists, Fiction Category
Finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize
Listed in Chicago Review of Books “Most Anticipated Books of 2018”.

Translation rights sold: UK, Italy

"A bold new voice, at once insolently sardonic and incisively compassionate, asserts itself amid a surging wave of young African-American fiction writers." - Kirkus

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.

Nafissa Thompson-Spires earned a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, and The Feminist Wire, among other publications.

Summary

Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—from 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 suicide—while others are devastatingly poignant—a 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.

Reports available
Publishers Weekly review
Kirkus review

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Nafissa Thompson-Spires earned a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, and The Feminist Wire, among other publications.

    HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE is her debut. It was longlisted for the 2018 National Book award, Fiction Category.