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A Taste of Honey: Stories by Jabari Asim

A Taste of Honey: Stories (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Jabari Asim (Author)

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644186,178 (4.7)17
Title:A Taste of Honey: Stories
Authors:Jabari Asim (Author)
Info:Broadway Books (2010), 205 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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A Taste of Honey: Stories by Jabari Asim (2009)



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Lariat List 2010, African-Americans, civil rights movement, family ( )
  SueRidnour | Apr 5, 2011 |
Interconnected short stories set in 1967-1968 , based around one African-American family and their neighbors. At the center of these stories is the Jones family, Reuben, a painter, his homemaker wife Pristine and their three sons, Ed, Schomburg and Crispus. Subjects include police brutality, domestic violence, zombies, ghosts, racism and civil rights. The first story has young Crispus introducing us to his family while other stories spread out to include their neighbors and the city. The last story includes the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr and the ensuing riots. Asim makes you care about these characters, esp Crispus, Reuben and Roderick (the boy genius of the neighborhood).
This book was the best book of the month for me. It's a well written , fast read , that kept my interest throughout. Highly recommended. ( )
  VioletBramble | Nov 2, 2010 |
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome stories. I love the authors use of the back-story technique. The characters were well thought-out and compelling. I agree with Chris Bohjalian. This book is a gem! Thumbs up to Jabari Asim ( )
  LiteraryW | Sep 13, 2010 |
Written with obvious affection, these very connected stories follow an African-American family and neighborhood in a community in the upper midwest (Ohio, I think, but it's not clear) during some of 1967 and 1968. The book reads almost like a novel and introduces us first to young Crispus Jones, age 9, and before the end of the book we've met the whole family and all the other people whose lives they touch and are touched by - the good and not-so-good.

And here I'd like to tell you about each of the stories as reviews so often do, but I'm an advocate for discovering books—at the moment this particular set of stories—and these people—on your own.

Asim writes in an easy style with a distinct affection for the characters he has created. He writes with humor yet I found the stories often riveting—and certainly held my breath through some of them. History and events of 1968 in particular are seen from the street level, experienced by individuals. We, the readers, are brought into this community, plunked down in a chair on a local front porch and handed a glass of cold lemonade—we are both observer and made to feel as part of these people's lives and one cannot fail to be changed by the experience. ( )
5 vote avaland | Jun 10, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Looking back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy...
For my wife, Liana,
"to whom I owe the leaping joy"

To Leonidas and A.C.,
with gratitude
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The summer of '67 was hot and foreboding.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767919785, Paperback)

Poignant and powerful, this debut collection from preeminent writer and critic Jabari Asim heralds his arrival as an exciting new voice in African American fiction.
Through a series of fictional episodes set against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent years in modern history, Asim brings into pin-sharp focus how the tumultuous events of '68 affected real people's lives and shaped the country we live in today. 
The sixteen connected stories in this exciting debut are set in the fictional Midwestern town of Gateway City, where second generation off-spring of the Great Migrators have pieced together a thriving, if fragile existence.  With police brutality on the rise, the civil rights movement gaining momentum, and wars raging at home and abroad, Asim has conjured a community that stands on edge.  But it is the individual struggles with love, childrearing, adolescence, etc, lyrically chronicled here, that create a piercing portrait of humanity.
In I'd Rather Go Blind and Zombies, young Crispus Jones, who while sensitive to the tremors of upheaval around him is still much more concerned with his crush on neighbor Polly and if he's ever going to be as cool as his brother.   When Ray Mortimer, a white cop, kills the owner of his favorite candy store, Crispus becomes aware of malice even more scary than zombies and the ghost that he thinks may be haunting his house. 
In The Wheat from the Tares and A Virtuous Woman, Rose Whittier deals with her abusive husband with a desperate resignation until his past catches up with him and she's given a second chance at love.  And Gabriel, her suitor, realizes that his whole-hearted commitment to The Struggle may have to give way for his own shot at romance.
And in Ashes to Ashes we see how a single act of despicable violence in their childhoods cements a lasting connection between two unlikely friends.
From Crispus' tender innocence to Ray Mortimer's near pure evil, to Rose's quiet determination, the characters in this book and their journeys showcase a world that is brimming with grace and meaning and showcases the talents of a writer at the top of his game.  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:22 -0400)

A collection of stories that focus on the social upheaval and events of 1968 and how they impact a cast of characters.

(summary from another edition)

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