Shaking the Tree

50 Books by People of Color: Book 50!
Title: Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women
Author: Various, Edited by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
Medium: Book

I promise I’ll make this post about Shaking the Tree and not about completing my goal, however, know that this post is written with a slightly girlish glee. I’ll post about this year and this project tomorrow as well as my future goals for this blog.

Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women is exactly what it sounds like, a collection of fiction and memoirs by women who identify as black. Other than reviewing Say You’re One of Them earlier for this project I had avoided short story collections, not because I dislike them but because they can be so hard to concisely talk about. Shaking the Tree has twenty-three different stories by different authors, so I think you can probably understand this entry’s lack of brevity.

What I liked: The stories came from women of all backgrounds, while all of the women self identify as black they are all extremely different. Some come from wealthy upper and middle class families, others were raised in poverty. Some are American born, but others like Edwidge Danticat are immigrants to America. Some are Christian, some are Jewish and some religion isn’t even brought up.

What I didn’t like: I’ve stated it before in this blog, I’m relatively young. At twenty-five while I can read and sympathize with women that are older than me (and after reading a lot of teen books younger than me as well) however there are some things that I just couldn’t relate to. I’m okay with that. I may put this book on the shelf and intend to read it once every ten years, I’m sure that will be a perspective shift.

The Stories I loved: While I had read it before due to it’s collection in Krik? Krak!, Edwidge Danticat’s

    Children of the Sea

will always be a story that sticks out. It’s written as letters between two characters lovers, he is on a boat attempting to escape from Haiti and she is in Haiti with her parents, who have sacrificed so much in order to protect her. Another story that stood out was a complete surprise Nelly Rosario’s

    Leila, 1998

. I had intended to read the book it is taken from Song of the Water Saints, it was actually one of the first books I checked out from the library with the intention of reading and I got about a quarter of the way through but I just lost interest.

    Leila, 1998

. Telling you anything about

    Leila, 1998

would pretty much tell you exactly what is going to happen, it’s predictable, but it’s well written and therefore worth reading.

Overall Rating: 4/5!


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