Review: Heads of the Colored People Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Undoubtedly, one of the most gorgeous books I own so it perfectly completed the prompt for most beautiful cover.
Heads of the Coloured People is a collection of short stories that discuss the black experience in a so called 'post-racial' era. There is an enormous amount of diversity within each of these vignettes. Some touch on style, others on class, and another on motherhood. There is also a fantastic range of the tone that is used by Thompson-spires; there is a real spectrum in this collection when it comes to comedy. Despite an expectant consistent undertone of seriousness (that one perhaps would expect when reading a book about black culture), I was pleasantly surprised to see this trope pushed aside. There was a particularly funny short story that will stick with me between two mothers engaging in an ongoing argumentative correspondence about their black daughters attending the same school. That's not to say there are no serious stories within this book. There are truly moving chapters about gun violence, or the impossible push and pull between accepting a middle class upbringing whilst simultaneously allowing oneself to be fully emerged within black culture.
Regardless of your background, I think that if you enjoy short stories of this description, there will be something in here for you. Ultimately, I enjoyed this collection. However, I hit the same issue that I consistently have with short story collections, which is that due to only being immersed in situations and characters for one chapter, I never feel fully engaged. Also, when one story truly resonates with you, others can fall flat in comparison. The result from my rating is not a reflection of how good the short stories are, or to take away from the authors writing. Merely that short stories aren't necessarily right for me!
Initial Prediction: 3.5 stars
Final Rating: 3.5 stars
Publication Date: 10 April 2018 (my edition: 9 August 2018)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Genres: Short stories
# of Pages: 209