The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey

The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey

by Toi Derricotte


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The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey by Toi Derricotte

This exquisitely written journal will be one of the decade's most provocative and controversial books about race. "All my life I have passed invisibly into the white world, and all my life I have felt that sudden and alarming moment of consciousness there, of remembering I am black. It may feel like emerging too quickly from deep in the ocean, or touching an electric fence, or like a deer paralyzed in the headlights of an oncoming car," writes Toi Derricotte, a light-skinned black woman. This book began as sketchy journal entries over twenty years ago when the author moved into an all-white neighborhood near New York City. "I believed that my unconsciousness of my blackness, my 'forgetting,' was symptomatic of some deep refusal of 'self,' a kind of death wish. . . . I wanted to capture the language of self-hate, the pain of re-emerging thought and buried memory and consciousness." Here the author describes encounters with family, neighbors, friends, and colleagues where she is forced to question what it means to be a black woman living in a racially divided world. The result is a brilliant and painful document, a meditation about the complexity of race in this country. It is also a book about uncovering the denied and shameful aspects of the self, and the author's journey toward self-acceptance. Excerpts from this book have appeared in Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, and Callaloo, among others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393045444
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/28/1997
Pages: 205
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Toi Derricotte is the author of four collections of poetry. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.

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