The Big Mama Stories

Overview

Big Mama Stories is set in the South in the 1960's. Daughter, whose mother died when she was very young, is raised by the women in her community, some blood related, some not. At the age of twelve, she begins her journey to womanhood, guided by these diverse, non-traditional, older Black women. Daughter reflects on her vivid memories of growing up, recalling rituals, faith healings, storytelling and lessons she learned about survival.
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Overview

Big Mama Stories is set in the South in the 1960's. Daughter, whose mother died when she was very young, is raised by the women in her community, some blood related, some not. At the age of twelve, she begins her journey to womanhood, guided by these diverse, non-traditional, older Black women. Daughter reflects on her vivid memories of growing up, recalling rituals, faith healings, storytelling and lessons she learned about survival.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These folktale-like stories, told by a young woman about her ``mamas''--the several women who raised her following the death of her mother--capture the dialect and climate of the black South of the '60s. Each work centers around one of the mamas; the narrative voice throughout is intimate and assured--Youngblood maintains a near-flawless cadence and a consistent tone with subtlety and grace. Unfortunately, a taut style cannot compensate for the flatness of her characters and the predictability of their actions. The issues addressed in this fiction debut--obsessive love, parenting, loyalty, continuity, the initiation of a girl into womanhood--are trivialized by cursory treatment of the characters and superficial interpretations. Incompletely or insufficiently differentiated, Youngblood's women begin to blur. Although she may have intended to overlap their personalities in order to demonstrate that the combined resources of many ``mamas'' in raising the protagonist are more effective than those of one woman alone, the resulting homogeneity inhibits this collection. July
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780932379573
  • Publisher: Firebrand Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/1989
  • Pages: 106
  • Sales rank: 1,392,045
  • Product dimensions: 5.29 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Georgia-born writer Shay Youngblood is author of the novels Soul Kiss, Winter Prophet, and Black Power Barbie. Her plays, Amazing Grace, Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery, and Talking Bones (Dramatic Publishing Company), have been widely produced. Her other plays include Flying Blind, Square Blues and Communism Killed My Dog. An Edward Albee honoree, and the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Pushcart Prize for fiction, a Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, several NAACP Theater Awards, and an Astraea Writers' Award for fiction, Ms. Youngblood graduated from Clark-Atlanta University and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. She has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in the eastern Caribbean, as an au pair, artist's model, and poet's helper in Paris, and as a creative writing instructor in a Rhode Island women's prison. She was a Japan U.S. Friendship Commission Creative Artist Fellow (2011).
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