Notes From A Black Woman’s Diary: Selected Works of Kathleen Collins edited by Nina Lorez Collins
“The writer and filmmaker Kathleen Collins died in 1988, at the age of 46 — young, brilliant and, for the most part, unknown. Her work — including Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, a collection of short stories published for the first time in 2016 — has been rediscovered and embraced in recent years. Now a new book has arrived, Notes From a Black Woman’s Diary, a grab bag of letters, diary entries, short stories, plays and screenplays. ‘Her voice and vision are idiosyncratic and pitiless, combining mischief and crisp authority, formal experimentation and deep feeling,’ our critic Parul Sehgal writes.”
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie. Shamsie, a Pakistani writer who also lives in London, opens this powerful novel in Nagasaki, shortly before its destruction. The young woman protagonist, who is one of the few survivors, leaves Japan and continues her life, forever transformed, in India, Turkey, Pakistan, and beyond. This is not Shamsie’s most recent novel, but it is one of great power and lyrical beauty.
Likewise, perhaps, Kevin Young has been publishing in a variety of genres, and his most recent book of poems, Brown, has received enthusiastic reviews. I’ve been reading his Book of Hours, however, an astonishing poetic engagement with grief, loss, and death. Superb and accessible poems.
Finally, the first novel by a young Kenyon author of extraordinary talent, Meghan Kenny. The Driest Season is spare, wise, lyrical, and potent. It’s a quick read and one I highly recommend.