By Asali Solomon
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Paperback, 9780374531461, 208pp.
Publication Date: January 22, 2008
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Asali Solomon's characters are vivid misfits--a heathen at Jesus camp, a scheming prep-school student, a middle-aged mom pining for her salsa-dancing salad days, a scheming twentysomething virgin, a college stud in love with his weight-lifting partner, a lonely girl in love with a yellow dress. The kids in "Get Down "are trapped between their own good breeding and their burning desire to join the house party of sex, romance, and bad behavior that seems to be happening on some other block, down some other, more dangerous street. "Get Down "is, in the words of Edward P. Jones, "touching and sensitively observed . . . from the first word to the last.
Asali Solomon was born and raised in Philadelphia. Get Down, her first book, earned her a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, was chosen as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” for 2007, and was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.
“American literature tends to offer its black characters only two moods to play: angry or mad . . . which is why Asali Solomon’s debut collection, Get Down, comes as such a blessed relief. Angry and mad make appearances, but so do confused, awkward, hopeful and sincere.” —Victor Lavalle, Paste“Fresh, intimate portraits of people trying to straddle contradictory worlds. While Asali Solomon writes with uncanny acumen about men, Get Down will resonate with anyone—male or female, black or white, young or old—who has ever felt like an outsider.” —Jennifer Egan
Saturday Night Live recently announced that they were hiring Sasheer Zamata, the first black woman to join the cast in six years. For our series This Week's Must Read, author Danielle Evans recommends a book that can give readers an idea of how Zamata might feel: Get Down, a short story collection by Asali Solomon. More at NPR.org
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