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Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories by and about Black Women

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This book combines in one volume two now classic short story collections.  The editor has added a new introduction and prefatory material. "Mary Helen Washington has had a greater impact upon the formation of the canon of Afro-American literature than has any other scholar." --The New York Times Book Review This book combines in one volume two now classic short story collections.  The editor has added a new introduction and prefatory material. "Mary Helen Washington has had a greater impact upon the formation of the canon of Afro-American literature than has any other scholar." --The New York Times Book Review


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This book combines in one volume two now classic short story collections.  The editor has added a new introduction and prefatory material. "Mary Helen Washington has had a greater impact upon the formation of the canon of Afro-American literature than has any other scholar." --The New York Times Book Review This book combines in one volume two now classic short story collections.  The editor has added a new introduction and prefatory material. "Mary Helen Washington has had a greater impact upon the formation of the canon of Afro-American literature than has any other scholar." --The New York Times Book Review

30 review for Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories by and about Black Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kima Jones

    I read this cover to cover in 7th grade and then read all of the books she referenced. This anthology changed the entire course of my life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    I actually read the 1975 edition, which is likely a bit different from this more recent edition, but I enjoyed Washington's collection of some of the most important pieces of American literature. She offers three quotations to frame the collection: "'De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.' Nannie, in Zora Neale Hurston's _Their Eyes Were Watching God_" & "And she had nothing to fall back on: not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything. And out of profound desola I actually read the 1975 edition, which is likely a bit different from this more recent edition, but I enjoyed Washington's collection of some of the most important pieces of American literature. She offers three quotations to frame the collection: "'De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.' Nannie, in Zora Neale Hurston's _Their Eyes Were Watching God_" & "And she had nothing to fall back on: not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything. And out of profound desolation of her reality, she may very well have invented herself.' Toni Morrison" & "Black-eyed Susan: 'A slight, pretty flower that grows on any ground; and flowers pledge no allegiance to banners of any man.'" Alice Walker" Just typing these quotations gives me chills - and the stories and essays filling up the rest of the collection (which includes "The Self-Solace" from Gwendolyn Brooks' _Maud Martha_, "My Man Bovanne" from Toni Cade Bambara's _Gorilla, My Love_, and "Reena" by Paule Marshall (which repeats some themes/names from _Brown Girl, Brownstones_)) are just as important, creating a perfect, concise expression of twentieth century African American women writers. She separates the stories into the following categories: The Intimidation of Color, The Black Woman and the Myth of the White Woman, The Black Mother-Daughter Conflict, The Black Woman and the Disappointment of Romantic Love, and, finally, Reconciliation. This is a brief, but worthwhile read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Lawson

    I enjoyed this 1970s collection of stories about Black women - super cool that this was a pre The Color Purple Alice Walker and pre Beloved Toni Morrison. Lots of other great authors I’d not heard of and want to check out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    T.tara Turk-Haynes

    The first book I read where I actually wanted to be a writer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    DORIS

    LOVE THESE BOOKS I WAS BORN TO READ. GOODREADS A PLACE TO HANGOUT AND JUST BEAD. YESSS

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kyami

    Anthologies of Black Women Writers are wonderful because they showcase and highlight the works of well-known and un-known writers. These set of stories (20) deal with fictional alienation, conflicting relationships, and animosities on being black and a woman in America

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    Read this book in the 1990s - I credit Mary Helen Washington with exposing me to wonderful writers - that I sought out and my love of reading grew even more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ade Oluyemisi

    I really enjoyed the stories some of which I wish were longer. It's making me reread The Bluest Eyes I really enjoyed the stories some of which I wish were longer. It's making me reread The Bluest Eyes

  9. 5 out of 5

    Meghan Johnson

    some good stories.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Esleal10

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Lynn

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ariatna B. Mendoza

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sally

  15. 5 out of 5

    ESLEAL10

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kukusan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Wilkinson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne_ta

  20. 5 out of 5

    Roveyu12

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maya Lewis

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Ethell

  23. 5 out of 5

    Flexsis

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shawna Garcia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Read In Colour

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Michelle

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amylou

  28. 5 out of 5

    Linda C

  29. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey T.

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