Sunday 16 December 2018
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.theguardian - 10 days ago

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah review – both funny and frightening

A surreal, startling debut short story collection probes race and consumerism in a twisted America“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious,” wrote James Baldwin, “is to be in a rage almost all the time.” In Friday Black, a surreal, startling debut collection of short stories, the US writer Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah updates that sentiment. The opening tale, “The Finkelstein Five”, focuses on angry youths protesting about the murder of black children, decapitated with a chainsaw by a middle-aged white man whose defence is that he perceived the children to be a threat. In this story, Emmanuel has learned to project a non-threatening persona, to “dial down his blackness”. The piece – part absurdist fantasy, part fire and brimstone parable – explores the emotional cost of trying to maintain such an unsustainable stance. Only in death can blackness be dialled down to zero.In these uncanny tales, everyday storylines are pushed to darkly funny extremes Continue reading...

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