Liesl Seborg, Senior Librarian, Salt Lake County Library Services--Hunter Library
Some Sing, Some Cry. “This is an incredibly well-written story of the generations of Mayfield women and their connections and disconnections over lifetimes. Music and perseverance pervade this saga where richly crafted characters travel the world from South Carolina through wars in Europe and Vietnam to modern day France. Well worth a read or listen!”
|Left - Ifa Bayeza, Right - Ntozake Shange|
We were unable to reach Ms. Shange and Ms. Bayeza for comment, but the public link an bio can be found on aalbc.com the number one site for African American Literature, www.aalbc.com:
“Award-winning writer Ntozake Shange and real-life sister, award-winning playwright Ifa Bayeza achieve nothing less than a modern classic in this epic story of the Mayfield family. Opening dramatically at Sweet Tamarind, a rice and cotton plantation on an island off South Carolina's coast, we watch as recently emancipated Bette Mayfield says her goodbyes before fleeing for the mainland. With her granddaughter, Eudora, in tow, she heads to Charleston. There, they carve out lives for themselves as fortune-teller and seamstress. Dora will marry, the Mayfield line will grow, and we will follow them on an journey through the watershed events of America's troubled, vibrant history -- from Reconstruction to both World Wars, from the Harlem Renaissance to Vietnam and the modern day. Shange and Bayeza give us a monumental story of a family and of America, of songs and why we have to sing them, of home and of heartbreak, of the past and of the future, bright and blazing ahead.”
By: Amy Durham
Many times, after finishing a book I've thoroughly enjoyed, I find myself a little sad. Sometimes I even slow down the pace of my reading as I near the end of the book so I can draw out the experience. It's actually a rather sweet feeling, to have enjoyed a book so much that I'm sad when it ends.
If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation, I'd like to suggest a few ways that you can expand that experience, so that when you finish the last page and close the covers of the book, it feels less abrupt and leaves you with a fun sense of anticipation.
When you realize, in the course of your journey through the book, that the story is speaking to you and pulling you in, decide at that point that you will visit the author's blog or website once you finish the book. It's a simple process in this day and age to contact an author, and while I'm certainly not condoning author-stalking, authors love reader feedback. A comment on a blog post or a sincere email, letting the author know how moved you were by his or her story, will not only provide affirmation to the author, but it also expands the reader's experience, allowing you a "positive closure" for an enjoyable reading experience.
Next, consider reviewing the book. This is yet another way to let the author know - as well as other enthusiastic readers - that this is a book worth investing in. Readers value the opinion of other readers, so reviewing the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other retailers will help others find and choose the book that you enjoyed so much. It also allows you a way to process your feelings about a good book, a way to extend the experience in a way that expresses your thoughts and enthusiasm for the story you loved.
Finally, check out the author's other titles, if you haven't already. Many times the style of writing that you loved in one story will also be present in other books by the same author. While it's true that particular character types and story lines appeal to you, you may find that the author's particular style appeals to you. So, it's worth your time to take a look at an author's back list, or watch his or her website for news of upcoming releases.
Rather than bottling up your enthusiasm when you finish a great book, try these suggestions! They will expand your reading experience, offering ways to "close out" the experience of reading a book you loved by giving the author feedback, telling other readers how much you loved the book, and giving you a sense of anticipation for other books you might love even more!