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A Taste of Honey: Stories Paperback – March 2, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767919785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767919784
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 16 related short stories, Asim (The N Word) illustrates the connections between African-American characters living in a Midwestern town in the tumultuous late '60s. The focus is on the Jones family: young precious Crispus; ladies' man Schomburg; budding radical and intellectual Ed; adoring and protective mother, Pristine, and warm, strong father, Reuben. In the opening narrative, I'd Rather Go Blind, Crispus describes his community as he sees it—grown men with colorful nicknames, his adolescent brothers changing before his eyes, and an emerging Black Nationalist fervor rising in his neighborhood. Crispus is particularly fond of Curly, a friendly, blind store owner who is killed by a corrupt white cop when Curly tries to protect Ed from a brutal beating. Moonshiner Octavius Givens and his best friend Leo Madison defend Leo's mother after she's assaulted by the white man whose family employs most of the blacks in town, and must fight to their deaths or run. Asim successfully delves into politics, domestic violence, racial identity, young love, and more in this humorous and poignant collection, although often the characters feel too rich for the format. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 1967 in the fictional midwestern town of Gateway City, the tight-knit black community is grappling with changes large and small against the backdrop of boiling resentment of racial injustice and police brutality. Nine-year-old Crispus Jones is fair-skinned at a time when black is beautiful, the blacker the better. And with nappy hair in a family of wavy heads, he feels like the ugly duckling. Older brother Ed is just beginning to chafe under racial restrictions, while Schomburg, handsome and athletic, is self-absorbed. Their father, Reuben, is a lover of black history and a sign painter with the soul of an artist. Their mother, Pristine, keeper of family memories, is comforted by the church in her worries about her sons. The neighborhood gangster supports the church, while a blind man who sold candy and protected children from bullies is killed in a police altercation. This collection of short stories, some first-person perspectives, interweaves the lives of various characters, skillfully rendered, in a textured portrait of life in an urban community. --Vanessa Bush

More About the Author

JABARI ASIM is the acclaimed author of What Obama Means . . . For Our Politics, Our Culture, Our Future as well as the author of the highly praised and controversial The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, And Why.

He is the editor-in-chief of Crisis magazine, a preeminent journal of politics, ideas and culture published by the NAACP and founded by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1910. He spent 11 years at the Washington Post, where he served as deputy editor of the book review section. For three years he also wrote a syndicated column on political and social issues for the Post.

In April 2009, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded him a fellowship in nonfiction, one of 180 fellowships awarded to artists, scientists and scholars in 2009 selected from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

He is a frequent public speaker and commentator who has appeared on "The Today Show," "The Colbert Report," "Hannity & Colmes," "The Tavis Smiley Show," "The Diane Rehm Show" and countless other programs. He has lectured at many of the nation's finest universities, including Seton Hall University, Northwestern University, Syracuse University and the University of Florida. He is an associate professor of creative writing at Emerson College.

His first work of fiction for adults, A Taste of Honey, was published in April 2010. The Road To Freedom, his first novel for young readers, was published in 2000. His other children's books include Whose Toes Are Those, Whose Knees Are These, Daddy Goes to Work, and The Road to Freedom. His children's books, Boy Of Mine and Girl Of Mine, were published in April 2010. Fifty Cents And A Dream, a new book for children, will be published in December.

Jabari Asim lives in Massachusetts with his wife and children.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Great characters whom you like or not so much, well written and fun.
H. Bradby
A Taste Of Honey is the first book that I've read by Mr. Asim and I am already looking forward to his next project.
Trinigal55
A Taste of Honey..........STORIES JABARI ASIM...........is magnetic, graceful and really, filled with truth.
Grapes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cyrus Webb TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was my first time to read the work of Jabari Asim, but he delivers a powerful book with A TASTE OF HONEY, giving readers a seamless collection of stories that tackle the challenges of all people and the relationships that we all find ourselves in. Jabari also shows that injustice is injustice, no matter what the race or in what form it might come in. Regardless of where we come from, we have to work together in order to enjoy the goodness that life has to offer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Isis on March 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is as educational as it is entertaining. It reads like poetry, that flows through a myriad of characters and events, pulling you into a neighborhood, a place, and a time. The book gives an honest and painful look at a part of history, I wish didn't exist. I fell in love with characters and wanted for their safety with each turn of the page. It was worth every minute of my time and I am anxious to read more of Jabari Asim's work. Fabulous! (High School Age and above)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Literary Marie on January 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
There were many great reviews so I decided to give it a try. It reads like poetry, which I am not fond of. However, as I read about each character, I felt like a neighbor sitting on the front porch sipping sweet tea and eavesdropping. The setting takes place in a fictional Midwestern town in 1967. It addresses issues of racial injustice. While I have not experienced such injustice, there are moments in the book I could relate to. Remember Chick-o-Sticks? Remember Crispus Attucks? Remember that kid on the block who was known by his/her nickname, but you never quite knew his/her real name? This book will bring back childhood memories as well as offer a glimpse into a tight-knit black community. Well worth the read!

Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trinigal55 on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Taste Of Honey is the first book that I've read by Mr. Asim and I am already looking forward to his next project. I was expecting a more "in your face" depiction of the racial turmoil of the late sixties. Instead I was pulled into this mid-westernesque town where I felt like I was sitting on my porch observing the goings-ons of my neighbors, but with the "inside scoop". Mr. Asim is a fabulous writer whose ability to develop several characters at one time is seamless. I found myself remembering snippets of my own childhoold and considering the timeless issues of racial injustice in America and how I manage it with my own children. This book should be required reading among all families of color. Well done, Mr. Asim.
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By Momgot2 on September 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Mr. Asim weaves a poignant and relevant tale of love, friendship and redemption!

I too recognized all the familiar SoSTL-isms scattered throughout his story, and I thank him so much for taking me back down memory lane!

The social issues at the background of his book have not changed since the story's setting in 1967, or at the publishing date; the nuclear family's struggle for survival, adolescent sexuality, domestic abuse, and police intimidation of minorities make this book as relevant in 2010 as on February 26, 2012 or August 9, 2014.

I read it in one evening and wish it went on longer. Thank you for this brief but wonderful journey
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