Friday Black

Friday Black

Book - 2019
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A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America. From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In "The Finkelstein Five," Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In "Zimmer Land," we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And "Friday Black" and "How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King" show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all. Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2019
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ℗♭2018
ISBN: 9781432862336
Characteristics: 297 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

List - GR Reads 2019
GRPL_staffpicks Mar 12, 2020

A Grand Rapids Public Library GR Reads selection for 2019.

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Aug 04, 2020

I feel lucky to have found this book. Thought-provoking is too cliche for these stories. You don't see it coming, and when it does, it stays with you for days. Adjei-Brenyah starts these short stories with champion strength in The Finkelstein 5. This story is a modern day/near future nod to E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime. IMPRESSIVE. But the story I couldn't put down, the story that had my head hurting from thinking was Zimmer Land. Yes, it is about what you think, but not in a way that you can imagine. Again, IMPRESSIVE. I highly recommend

Jun 21, 2020

Edmonds library display during June 2020

Hillsboro_JeanineM Apr 15, 2019

Wow, this has some interesting and powerful near-future dystopian shorts dealing with racism and capitalism - violent imagery and content. The first story "The Finklestein 5" brought to mind "The Seven Days" from Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon". This is Adjei-Brenyah's first book and I'm looking forward to his next.

Feb 20, 2019

Best short story novel

Hillsboro_BrianS Jan 24, 2019

Wow, the stories here are fantastic and devastating reads. Adjei-Brenyah takes a black mirror to the everyday horror and absurdity that is racism in America in the year 2019. As others here have noted, the first story in the collection, "The Finklestein 5" is astounding. For me, it reads like the great Chester Himes meets Kafka. Just, wow.

Jan 13, 2019

Fantastic story collection that blends the Sci-Fi/dystopian genre with racism and consumerism in America. Difficult but important stories; very much a book for our current times.

Jan 01, 2019

If you are not a story collection reader at least read this one! The author's imagination translates real feeling and events in an alternative reality. Metaphors for real life struggles in "Zimmer Land" were mesmerizing. The Blackness scale in "The Finkelstein" telling left me with my mouth agape. I can't recommend enough.

Dec 13, 2018

A remarkable debut collection of short stories and one of my favorite books of the year. Many of the stories engage with race and use the trappings of sci-fi/speculative fiction (In the "Twilight Zone" or "Black Mirror" sense), such as the centerpiece, "Zimmer Land," in which people go to a theme park to "shoot" black people. Other stories, like the title one, push the absurdity of Black Friday to its limits. A fiercely imaginative and engaged book. Great cover too.

multcolib_karene Nov 27, 2018

The first story in this collection, The Finkelstein 5, is so damn powerful-it's the kind of story that will stay with me forever.

DPL_Graham Nov 12, 2018

This short story collection by Nana Wame Adjei-Brenyah is an amazing debut collection. If Netflix’s “Black Mirror” was evolved into a collection of short stories this would be the book that would result. While this is a useful comparison when trying to explain the collection there is more going on here than human being controlled by social media likes.

Adjei-Brenyah call upon our social fabric and then twists the fabric until we can see all sides of the fabric and the colors of the rainbow in his stories. In his lead story, “The Finkelstein,” an alternate America judges the actions of man who chopped the heads-off 5 black children in front a library with a chainsaw self-defense.

In “Black Friday” a diseased populace fights each other in the malls of the United States for the perfectly discounted coat. By lunch break the halls of the mall are filled with shoppers with blood covering their faces and bodies stuffed into trash cans.

In “The Era” I felt Philip K. Dick invoked in a twisted-future where speaking the "truth" regardless of feelings is taught in school. Each story is dark, twisted, yet very real and connected to our present day lives. I can’t wait to follow Adjei-Brenyah writing career. This debate is an victory of short-fiction.


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