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4.0 

Friday Black

By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“An unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice.”—New York Times Book Review

The acclaimed debut collection from the author of Chain Gang All Stars; a piercingly raw 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.
  • “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.

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153 Reviews

4.0
Anxious Face with sweat
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenOriginal writingAddictiveSuspensefulDark settingDarkRacismViolence
“(3.75 ⭐) Friday Black is a dark and witty short story collection. It's satirical & dystopian, exploring what it means to exist as a Black person in America while also interrogating capitalism and consumerism. It begins incredibly strong, with the bone-chilling tale of the “The Finkelstein 5”, following the aftermath of a man acquitted after he gruesomely murdered 5 Black children. After that it’s a bit more of a mixed bag - some stories will stick with me for life, but others were more forgettable. The stories include a Westworld-esque amusement park where Black and Brown suffering is sold as justice entertainment, a time loop tale that imagines the consequences of a neighborhood fully aware that they are living the same day over and over, 3 interconnected retail stories that bring consumerism to a terrifying new high, and more. “The Hospital Where” absolutely delighted me, though I sometimes felt a bit lost amidst twelve-tongued gods and powerful bargains. The stories were very male-centered, and the female characters sometimes felt stereotypical. That was a loss. “Lark Street” - which I believe was intended to be a satirical and hyperbolic spin on anti-abortion advocates, though it could also just be a general tale of suffering and hauntings - missed the mark for me. The execution felt clumsy to the extent that it might have the opposite impact. I was also not thrilled by “The Era” because the tortuous present felt almost like a mocking of autism. I can see the intention, but the execution didn’t hit the mark for me. CW: racism, gun violence, murder, abortion, school shooting, death, gore, torture, hate crime, suicide, child death, police brutality, body horror, cannibalism, self harm, ableism, animal cruelty & death, sexism https://www.tiktok.com/@starrysteph for book recommendations!”

About Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH is the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black. Originally from Spring Valley, New York, he graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming from numerous publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Literary Hub, the Paris Review, Guernica, and Longreads. He was selected by Colson Whitehead as one of the National Book Foundation's “5 Under 35” honorees, is the winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for Best First Book and the Aspen Words Literary Prize.
 

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