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Jamel Brinkley

Author of A Lucky Man: Stories

4+ Works 242 Members 13 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Brinkley Jamel

Works by Jamel Brinkley

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2018 (2018) — Contributor — 264 copies
The Best American Short Stories 2019 (2019) — Contributor — 182 copies

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Common Knowledge

Gender
male
Nationality
USA

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Reviews

Started this last summer, finished it this spring. I liked this a lot—stories of people whose lives veered off, either largely or in small ways, from the course they thought they were on. Which is simplifying things in an effort to sum up, but I think it's a good frame. Brinkley writes beautifully, and I'm not always sure I buy his dialogue, it's part and parcel of that elegant prose so I'm fine with that. Less of the fierce energy of his first collection, A Lucky Man, but a good set of stories that make you think about life and trajectories and expectations, and care about even the most poorly behaved of his characters (there are a few).… (more)
 
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lisapeet | 1 other review | Apr 13, 2024 |
Title: Witness Stories
Author: Jamel Brinkley
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four
Review:
"Witness Stories" by Jamel Brinkley

My Sentiments:

These were quite a collection of various stories taking place in New York City of different ten challenges from 'mental illness, tragic, dementia, old age, gentrification, failed family relationships, family conflicts, dead-end jobs, failed romances, and poverty,' all with different perspectives.

This author gave the reader some brilliant stories; each collection of short stories will give one a lot to think of long after this literary read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Farrar Straus & Giroux for the ARC for the read.
… (more)
 
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arlenadean | 1 other review | Aug 1, 2023 |
Surprising experience reading this. I could almost chart my reaction(s) story by story, like a trend line. The first one seemed intended to hit one in the gut - through language and party-wildness. I'm certainly no stranger to any of that but the bit at the end where the girls assault the rabid dog had me ready to chuck the book in the corner. That scene, that device, just felt entirely gratuitous and really, pointless. What did its inclusion accomplish? I can't see a viable answer. I stuck with it though and it did come back around in few of the stories but at the end of the read, two words hung for me: "inconclusive" and "manipulative." I understand that short stories, by nature, can be incomplete or perhaps, abrupt but at the end of at least 1/3 of these stories I found myself saying, "yeah? so?" And, the repetitive descriptions of women's bodies just felt, well, manipulative - at least, in the way it was done and repeated from one story to another.… (more)
 
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shaundeane | 10 other reviews | Sep 13, 2020 |
This collection of nine short stories is set in Brooklyn and the South Bronx, where the author grew up, and each is centered around two African American men, who are family members or friends whose relationships are strained and occasionally at the breaking point, which affects themselves and those around them. My favorite stories were "J'ouvert, 1996", in which a troubled teenage boy struggles to accept his mother's new boyfriend while having to look after his younger brother as he seeks independence and his own identity; 'Everything the Mouth Eats", a story about two estranged brothers who decide to travel togther to attend a capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial arts conference, in an attempt to restore their formerly close relationship; "A Family", in which a man recently released from prison attempts reconciliation with the wife of his deceased best friend and his teenage son; and "A Lucky Man", which is centered on a school employee whose alluring wife has recently left him alone and adrift, as a younger man teases and torments him over his loss. I liked the other stories but wasn't as enamored by them, but this is a very promising debut collection and I look forward to reading Jamel Brinkley's future works.… (more)
 
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kidzdoc | 10 other reviews | Feb 1, 2020 |

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