You Are Free
By Danzy Senna
(Riverhead Trade, Paperback, 9781594485077, 240pp.)
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
From the bestselling author of Caucasia, riveting, unexpected stories about identity under the influence of appearances, attachments, and longing.
Each of these eight remarkable stories by Danzy Senna tightrope-walks tantalizingly, sometimes frighteningly, between defined states: life with and without mates and children, the familiar if constraining reference points provided by race, class, and gender. Tensions arise between a biracial couple when their son is admitted to the private school where they'd applied on a lark. A new mother hosts an old friend, still single, and discovers how each of them pities-and envies- the other. A young woman responds to an adoptee in search of her birth mother, knowing it is not she.
Danzy Senna's first novel, Caucasia, was the winner of the Book-of-the-Month Club's Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and an American Library Association Alex Award. It was a finalist for an International IMPAC Dublin Award, and was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Her short fiction and essays have been widely anthologized. She is a recipient of the 2002 Whiting Writers' Award and currently holds the Jenks Chair of Contemporary American/Letters at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Danzy Senna's stories begin with the familiar, but quickly take subtle turns to reveal racial tensions lurking below the surface. As part of Tell Me More's Summer Blend Book Club series, host Michel Martin speaks with author Danzy Senna about her new collection of short fiction, You Are Free. More at NPR.org
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