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Toni Cade Bambara (1939–1995)

Author of The Salt Eaters

22+ Works 1,503 Members 13 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Toni Cade Bambara, a well-known teacher, writer, and social activist, was born on March 25, 1939, in New York. Bambara's mother was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance and fostered creativity in her daughter. After graduating from Queens College in 1959, Bambara worked as a social investigator for show more the New York Department of Welfare. This experience influenced her writing and reflected her interest in the welfare of the black community. Bambara returned to school, receiving her MA from City College of New York in 1965, where she taught until 1969. It was in the 1970s that Bambara wrote her most important works, including Black Woman, Southern Black Utterances Today, and Gorilla My Love. Bambara's works are frequently written in black street dialect and are set in the rural South and the urban North. She is interested in the identities and experiences of the black community and writes about their effects as a society. She has also authored several film and television scripts. Bambara is a frequent guest lecturer, visiting professor, and community leader. She received an American Book Award in 1981 Her novel The Salt Eaters (1980) is centered around a healing event that coincides with a community festival in the fictional city of Claybourne, Georgia. The novel Those Bones Are Not My Child or If Blessings Come (title of the manuscript), was published posthumously in 1999. It deals with the disappearance and murder of forty black children in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. It was called her masterpiece by Toni Morrison, who edited it and also gathered some of Bambara's short stories, essays, and interviews in the volume Deep Sightings & Rescue Missions: Fiction, Essays & Conversations. (Vintage, 1996). Toni Cade Bambara was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1993 and died of it in 1995, at age 56. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Toni Cade Bambara

Associated Works

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contributor — 1,134 copies
Points of View: Revised Edition (1966) — Contributor — 414 copies
America Street: A Multicultural Anthology of Stories (1993) — Contributor — 228 copies
We Are the Stories We Tell (1990) — Contributor — 195 copies
Black Women Writers at Work (1983) — Contributor — 129 copies
Deep Down: The New Sensual Writing by Women (1988) — Contributor — 116 copies
American Short Stories (1976) — Contributor, some editions — 95 copies
Who Do You Think You Are?: Stories of Friends and Enemies (1993) — Contributor — 94 copies
Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation (1984) — Contributor — 79 copies
Calling Home: Working-Class Women's Writings (1990) — Contributor — 72 copies
Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor (2006) — Contributor — 66 copies
Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers (1990) — Contributor — 65 copies
Indiscreet Journeys: Stories of Women on the Road (1989) — Contributor — 59 copies
The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story (2021) — Contributor — 55 copies
The Experience of the American Woman (1978) — Contributor — 46 copies
The Random House Book of Sports Stories (1990) — Contributor — 45 copies
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Contributor — 34 copies
Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women (1983) — Contributor — 22 copies
Almost Touching the Skies: Women's Coming of Age Stories (2000) — Contributor — 21 copies
Family: Stories from the Interior (1987) — Contributor — 15 copies
The Short Story & You (1987) — Contributor — 7 copies


Common Knowledge



Dense and chaotic, I don't think I absorbed all of what this book has to offer, but its offerings are so many and so deep that I know I'll be rereading and seeking again from it. Extraordinary insight into radical organizing and what it needs and takes from communities and individuals, its pitfalls, its best possibilities.
localgayangel | 4 other reviews | Mar 5, 2024 |
An interesting point of view and an enjoyable story read by Levar.
Rekki | Mar 10, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: "Haunting, fictionalized account describing racist terror that stalked Atlanta during the early 1980's as over 40 African American children were tortured and murdered. Insightful into racial issues of a vibrant city with an active African American community." 2022 comment - surprise that so little is online about this book; not even list in the NY Public Library catalog! Will it be discovered an more appreciated later in time?
MGADMJK | 1 other review | Oct 25, 2022 |
I really wanted to love this book, but I can't force myself to read it anymore or keep pretending that I'm going to finish it. It has some engaging moments, but it's mostly too all over the place and hard to follow. DNF around page 285.
BibliophageOnCoffee | 1 other review | Aug 12, 2022 |



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