Monday, June 7, 2010

books....b!tch is the new black

I confess...another books post 'cause I'm in a reading mode and finished up the second book in my HarperCollins stack.

I don't usually read memoirs and I tend to prefer a full-length narrative to essays, but I decided to try something out-of-character for me in Bitch is the New Black ("BNB" b/c I'm lazy). BNB consists of a number of essay-style memoirs from Helena Andrews. Since they are autobiographical, there is obviously overlap between the pieces (especially in the players) but they can stand fraily independently. Many of the chapters are focused on relationships including the author's relationship with her mother, men, and close friends. Weaved throughout is the idea of being a single, young, professional black woman at the turn of the millenium.

I like the author's voice and appreciate her prose. She is clearly telling her story...she doesn't suggest this is the life of everywoman but still serves as a voice for some level of shared experience (I feel like I can't get the words I want for that is HER experience but calls upon shared experiences while not suggesting all are identical). I enjoyed "meeting" some of the key characters in BNB and the consistency of the friendships that support the author from youth through college and adulthood. BNB avoids preaching about wonderfully strong women who don't need anything or anyone but still manages to present a woman the reader can admire...even while acknowledging her imperfections.

It is a pretty quick read and gets my thumbs-up.

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