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White Girls Paperback – August 5, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. New Yorker critic Als (The Women) delivers his first book in 15 years—a mesmerizing and varied collection of essays, some previously published. His eponymous white girls include Louise Brooks, Flannery O'Connor, Truman Capote, Richard Pryor, Malcolm X, Michael Jackson, Eminem, and others. Using his subjects as a springboard to analyze literature, photography, films, music, television, performance, race, gender, sexual orientation, and history, Als offers wry insights throughout. For example, he notes how O'Connor's readers often overlooked the originality and honesty of her portrayal... of Southern whiteness as it chafed under its biggest cultural influence—Southern blackness. In his opening essay, Tristes Tropiques, Als revels in his relationship (twinship) with the unnamed SL (Sir or Lady), noting that the relationship defies categorization in an America that is nothing if not about categories: There was no context... to understand us... two colored men who were together, not lovers, not bums, not mad. Highly attuned to popular culture, Als is a writer of many moods—meditative, sardonic, haunting, funny, reflective, and unconventional. Whether agonizing over photos of black lynchings (and realizing that the true meaning of the N-word is a slow death), or constructing a critique of Virginia Woolf in the voice of Richard Pryor's sister, he proves to be a compassionate writer looking for unity—even if it can't always be found. Agent: Jeffrey Posternak, Wylie Agency. (Nov.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With roots in Barbados and Brooklyn and a deep immersion in the endless identity issues attendant upon being a gay man of color, bold, versatile critic and New Yorker staff writer Als continues the inquiry he launched in his first book, The Women (1996). Here’s a clue to the layered and spiked complexities of this essay collection: one of the “white girls” Als portrays is Truman Capote, another is Michael Jackson as well as Flannery O’Connor and silent film star Louise Brooks. Jennifer Lee, Richard Pryor’s widow, appears in Als’ bristling portrait of the brilliant performer. He also portrays with fresh insight Marshall Mathers III, that is, Eminem. Als is pyrotechnic, lifting off the page in a blast of stinging light and concussive booms that somehow coalesce into profound cultural and psychological illuminations. More covertly scorching is the long, wrenching essay “Tristes Tropiques,” an exploration of love and friendship, fear and fascination during the AIDS epidemic. Whether his subject is his mother, himself, or seminal artists, Als is a fine, piercing observer and interpreter, a writer of lashing exactitude and veracity. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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