Friday Black

by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

About the Book

Friday Black wastes no time establishing the kind of dark satire and shocking intensity that readers can expect from this short story collection by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Some of these tales are living nightmares. The violent racism that has played out in news headlines across the United States is remixed as dystopian science fiction in stories like “The Finkelstein 5” and “Zimmer Land.” Surreal violence is found in other stories too, but all of it has purpose. It is often a plea for empathy and understanding, asking us why our culture seems so accepting of harming others. Maybe it comes from a twisted sense of justice. Or the urge to hurt others because of pain we feel ourselves. Or the careless trampling of a stranger to save $50 on a TV the day after Thanksgiving.

Adjei-Brenyah covers a lot in these 12 stories. He frequently explores race and identity as a young African American man in America, as a son, and as a part of consumerist culture. The main characters are often as unsure of their environment as the reader, and we all work to understand the surreal world around us. Friday Black is sharp and sometimes grim, but it is also funny, poignant, sensitive, and timely.

About the Author

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah received his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared in several magazines and journals including Esquire, Guernica, and Printer’s Row. Friday Black, his first book, is a New York Times Bestseller and was longlisted for the 2019 Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Fiction. Adjei-Brenyah teaches creative writing at Syracuse University and is currently working on his first novel.

Related Events

Changing the Narrative

Monday, June 24, 2018, 7:00 pm
Muse GR – 727 Leonard St NW

Join us for a conversation with creatives who are changing the way Black and Brown stories are told and who tells them. This panel discussion, co-hosted by AIGA West Michigan, will be an honest conversation about the successes and struggles of being in the creative industry in Grand Rapids.

Breaching the Margins

Through August 18, 2019
UICA – 2 Fulton St W

Breaching the Margins features artists who study the ways that marginalized groups navigate and work against social exclusion. The featured artists approach these ideas from many points of view, and offer dialogues about their rejections of marginalization. Exhibit is free with admission.

Gallery Admission
UICA Members: Free
Adults: $5
Five and under: Free

You can check out a membership to the UICA for free with your GRPL library card. Find out how. 

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