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"Like Loving Backward is a book of beautiful surprises....
"Like Loving Backward is a book of beautiful surprises. Cheo Tyehimba makes the supernatural seem natural while the real becomes nearly fantastic. The best surprise this collection offers is that it assumes the black male experience is complex. Whether fearful or fearsome, loved or loathed, the men in these stories are never simple and that's a true magic feat."
VICTOR LAVALLE, author of Slapboxing with Jesus and The Ecstatic
Cheo Tyehimba, an award-winning journalist and author, offers seven emotionally resonant and slightly supernatural stories about how black men learn to love.
Universal in their scope and inspired by the work of Black Arts Movement-era novelist and poet Henry Dumas, the tales are somewhat inner-city fabulist and out-of-bounds. They revolve around characters in different incarnations, at different stages of their lives that are faced with heart-rending, tragic, and an often-unknowing search for intimacy.
Men like Camden Holloway, whose search for his girlfriend's homeless father takes him on a journey from the streets of Oakland to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and deeper still into the uncharted territories of his own heart. There are also young men like Shotgun Baker, a sight-impaired, trash talking "basketball gangsta" whose brutal anticson the playground teach an unexpected lesson or a young drummer for an African dance troupe, who aided by the healing, transcendent touch of a good, loving woman finally discovers his greatest power.
In Like Loving Backward, all of these characters inhabit landscapes where strange and often dangerous occurrences are commonplace. Whether in love or learning to love, these men are always slightly estranged from themselves and the world they live in, and yet, their motivations reveal deep feelings most readers will want to share.
Posted July 13, 2011
First, this is a great collection of stories that has so many layers. Great storytelling that captures the real sensibilities and mood of
black men across various situations and circumstances. The writing reminds me a little of the fiction of Sherman Alexie.. funny, insightful, and very topical. All stories have a slightly supernatural feel that also works very well.
I would highly recommend this book to black women but also anyone who wants to understand black men. Great book for Father's Day!