Heads of the Colored People

Heads of the Colored People Review

Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era.

A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide—while others are devastatingly poignant—a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.

Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.

Title:Heads of the Colored People

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Gabriella

    I’m pretty sure this book is 4.5-5 stars, but we all know how I like to change my ratings from week to week. :) In just under 200 pages, Heads of the Colored People microscopes the inner workings of...

  • Rod-Kelly Hines

    What an utterly original collection! This may be the best short story collection I've ever read, it spoke directly to me, about things I've never seen represented in literature, as it concerns the liv...

  • Andre

    Although my initial reaction to this collection of stories was blasé, upon futher contemplation I went to four stars. The collection is centered on Black identity and the heaping of satire is heavy h...

  • Vnunez-Ms_luv2read

    Outstanding read!!! Wonderful stories. I loved how some of the stories weaved together from one to the other. My favorites were the letter written between two women about their daughters, and then the...

  • Barbara McEwen

    I enjoyed this short story collection. I think some of the stories are stronger than others but they are all original. It is a whole new point of view or multiple I guess since you get insight into th...

  • Michael Logan

    Stunning debut collection. Dark. Witty. Hilarious. The best story collection I've read this year....

  • Jacob

    this is stellar. ridiculously, enchantingly good. i sped through each story metaphorically or physically agape at what she was doing and how. i wish no one had ever used the word genius in the history...

  • Melissa

    Another outstanding short story collection for 2018. Thompson-Spires has bookended darkly comic and satirical stories about being black in America (including one about two feuding mothers who communic...

  • Sarah

    I've tried a few short story collections recently but I haven't finished any of them, so it's saying something that I read this book in its entirety in one day.I really liked it. I didn't love it, bec...

  • Joe M

    A funny and sharp-witted debut! The author calls these "sketches," which explains their sheer readability, but the diversity of characters, and the way their lives are woven together throughout this c...