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They Tell Me of a Home
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They Tell Me of a Home

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  533 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Twenty-eight-year-old protagonist Tommy Lee Tyson steps off the Greyhound bus in his hometown of Swamp Creek, Arkansas--a place he left when he was eighteen, vowing never to return. Yet fate and a Ph.D. in black studies force him back to his rural origins as he seeks to understand himself and the black community that produced him. A cold, nonchalant father and an emotional ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published October 1st 2005)
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I Be Reading
I would give the concept behind this novel 4 stars. I am generally a big fan of "prodigal son" type stories and, to Daniel Black's credit, I was intrigued enough by the big family secret to finish reading the novel.

However, I would give basically everything else zero stars. I found this novel entirely too melodramatic and preachy and if he hadn't taken potshots at the Black church, Tyler Perry could very well have written this novel.

Black spent several chapters using various characters as a way
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Zanetta Robinson
I...I cant e'en BEGIN to comment or review yet. Just. !!!

Edit 8/5/12 11:34 a.m.: I'm almost ready to review this novel. It's taking me some time to digest it all and sort out my feelings. Off the top of my head, I think the characters were interesting and relatively well developed; he gave the relationships an earnest complexity; he captured the rhythm, cadence and beauty of Black Vernacular English; he wrote compellingly about the search for self; he revealed the sights, smells, sounds, hopes,
...more
Trudy
Well, I've certainly had mixed feelings about this book. At first, I enjoyed it. Midway through, I was seriously ready to leave it. Towards the end, I enjoyed it again. Here is what I loved: Some of the stories told during the Friday evening gatherings "under the Tree" made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe. Also the notion that no person's motives are rarely just black or white, but complicated with various shades of gray and other stuff is surely reinforced here. In addition, this book valid ...more
Keri
What a wonderful read!!! I am so glad I came across this one. I laughed outloud many times but also read with a heavy heart. I beautifully told story. A bit predictable at times but that is alright becuase it really was a good read! I think this will be the kind of book I like even more as time passes.

The flow of the book might take a little getting into as a good portion of the text is done in what is supposed to be a poor black southern dialect. I found it enjoyable to read. There is a lot of
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Kimberly
This story took you on a journey back in time when there was so much sadness, incest, forgiveness and misunderstandings in the black community. There were plenty of secrets being kept. There were times in the story that you cried and then times your were mad. But, through it all there was so much inspiration that came from this journey in time. It was sad to see that some people back then looked for love in all the wrong places and misplaced who they should love and who loved them.

This was my f
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M.C. Walker
This book was a book club selection for the month of May. I was not to enthused to pick up this book, but I kept an open mind from the beginning. After reading Perfect Peace, I was a little leery of reading a second book by the author. From chapter one I was pulled into the story and instantly like the character. The more I read, I felt like I was drowning in a lot of back story. I was patiently waiting for the ball to drop and eventually it did around Chapter 5 I think and even then it didn't m ...more
Whitney
What an amazing literary experience! They Tell Me of a Home tells the story of a prodigal son of sorts, who returns to his rural Arkansas birthplace for answers to the existential questions we all face. For anyone with roots in the African American communities of the South, the author's use of dialect and keen attention to detail will instantly transport you to the place from whence you came. For those unfamiliar with the Deep South, Dr. Black serves as tour guide and cultural ambassador.

The boo
...more
Deanie
This story was full of intrigue, humor and truth-telling that one finds in unexpected places like a rural, impoverished close-knit community. More importantly, it speaks to the contradictions and complexities of the concept of "home"...the longing and revulsion, the open secrets, the pride that breeds jealousy, etc. The story also confirms that "home" is not just a physical structure but the memories, people, places and things that evoke that feeling of being part of something.

I truly enjoyed i
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Monique

Was just getting into this book when I was reminded of a great book by this author -Perfect Peace which I absolutely loved and so really went hard with this book -however admittedly and unfortunately it wasn’t the book I expected though it was powerful, readable and recommended...So first off my respect and admiration for Mr. Black as this author is dedicated, eloquent and thoughtful and you can tell his books are a labor of love and necessity to enlighten; it is obvious just by reading a few p
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Jasmine
This book!!! Black tells of a man who returns home in search of himself after ten years of being MIA. What he finds is far beyond what he thought he would. His family is full of secrets and just when you think that you can predict what will happen next in the story, it takes a turn and surprises you! Black's writing style is simple and educational. It flows like water into a cup and when you drink from it, it nourishes the soul's unknown thirst. The story is rich in African American, Southern, a ...more
Marie
I really wanted to like this novel, because the premise sounded interesting. However, I was disappointed in the character development and the story itself...and I couldn't understand why the main character would have left his beloved sister behind.
Sag2364
I really enjoyed this book. there were parts that in some ways felt like home and others that were a little too much. but overall, it was a good read that I would recommend.
Barbara
As I am just starting reading, it is another Daniel Black classic that is spell bounding. I can not wait to see what Tommy uncovers in his rural hometown, Swamp Creek, Arkansas.
Cheryl Durham
Oh my word....where do I start. This was just breathtaking. It has been my second most favorite read this year. Daniel Black took this reader on a journey that had me laughing, crying, kicking, rooting for and against every secret that had been covered as well as the shame and truth that had to be revealed. The read also had me to pause to remember some of the most nostalgic events that have left me wondering, questioning and drawing conclusions about things I know and thought I knew.

TL, the maj
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Leticia Collins
This book certainly left me wanting more at its end. I absolutely loved this book!!
Renee
There was so much to like about this book, it was very, very close to a five-star read.

I'll need to think a bit more before writing a review.

*************

Okay, I am back to review this. Sadly, I have already read two other books since this one, and I know I won't be able to remember it in as good of detail as I would have liked.

They Tell Me of a Home is about the "prodigal" son, Thomas Lee, of an abusive father and a downright cruel and unloving mother. TL spends his childhood being rejected by
...more
Sarah
I almost put this book down because it is hard to read the main character's ideas of the Bible. He believes that it isn't the inspired work of God, but that it's just people writing what they think about God. This is a book about Black people in the South, so the presence of the Christian church was a must. The author painted it as a cultural norm, not a spiritual practice-- which is most likely very accurate in many cultures.

The book has plenty of twists and surprises to keep you reading. I'd
...more
Kimberly Hicks
Feb 07, 2013 Kimberly Hicks rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kimberly by: Goodreads
I don't know if I'm just getting more sentimental in my older age (wink, wink) or if Daniel Black just has a way of evoking such strong emotions into his characters, that I feel as though he's speaking directly to me. Obviously, that's a sign of a dynamic writer, which he is. This book was so outstanding, I don't even know where to begin.

T.L. Tyson goes home because he was summoned there by an invisible force so strong, he couldn't ignore it--and, for good reason. Once he gets home, he is plague
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Cileane
I have always been a reader. A lover of books. A love I inherited from my mother. I loved (and love) the feeling of being transplanted into whatever world I happened to be reading about. However, NEVER have I EVER read any book that moved me to so many emotional highs and lows. My senses were constantly yanked from one emotion to another, and in rapid speed! Every single chapter was an emotional and tumulus roller coaster, dipping and swinging around curves I never saw coming. The lives of these ...more
Tenacious Virgo
i really liked Perfect Peace. i had high hopes for this one but was thoroughly disappointed. while the story was interesting, the execution was horrible. the vocabulary was so heavy and EXTRA. then the overly religious and barely masked semi-autobiographical aspects... the weird George friendship that was introduced for absolutely no reason... sigh! the author tried to make "fetch happen" with this book in so many ways. he was unsuccessful.
Emmkay
Well, I finished reading it, and enjoyed doing so in a bemused kind of way. The protagonist, TJ, has just got his Phd in black studies and has returned unannounced for a visit to the rural Arkansas town he left a decade before. Some of the dialect was fun to read and flowed well, but it seemed like when not writing in dialect, Black wrote dialogue very awkwardly - I was always being surprised when in the midst of what I thought was a conversation in a normal tone of voice he would write "I screa ...more
Nancy Doerrer
I could not finish this book---got through 200 pages, but the author's writing was too distracting. The dialogue between characters was fine; but the narrative was too poorly written. Too many other good books to read and too little time!
A great story but unfortunately poorly told
Abby
This was a Georgia Public Broadcastign book of the month and I heard an interview with the author that made me want to pick it up. An engrossign can't put it down read about a man who goes back to his hometown in Arkansass after getting his PHD and having not had any contact with anyone for 10 years. He finds his younger sister dead and burried in the backyard and the town torn between welcoming him as a prodigal son and resenting him for his education. This book does a great job exploring how t ...more
Janice Reads
The epic personal journey of a young man finding his place and discovering who he really is. It reminded me of the song/hymn "Will the Circle be Unbroken". Main character, TL breaks the circle, only to re-join it much later, with love and understanding in his heart. Daniel Black tells of some bizarre events and I, the reader, completely understand TL's confusion and amazement and sense of disorientation. The ending is not surprising; it couldn't go any other way.
Amira Smith
A solid 3.5. A wonderful and informative literary read. I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of the prodigal son. The way the relationship developed between TL and his family members was extraordinary. I believe anyone could relate to this book and the way it encouraged the thought of holding on and respecting ones culture. But.......... About 3/4 into the book a bomb was dropped that I just didn't appreciate. After learning the truth about certain members of his family past I just couldn't wrap my ...more
Michelle
I read this book in a span of a little under 30 hours mostly because I didn't want to have it in my life anymore. I found the protagonist to be whiny and self-righteous. The purpose of a lot of the dialogue seemed to be more about making the reader aware of the author's position on a myriad of topics(religion, race, sexuality, and education) versus actually moving the story along or shedding light on the characters. There were many plot points I saw as implausible and it was hard to sympathize w ...more
Ebony EyeCU Evans
Wow! Wow! Wow!

In "They Tell Me of a Home" Author Daniel Black details a vivid portrayal of Tommy Lee Tyson's search of life's missing pieces. Upon his return to Swamp Creek, he's plagued with the horrifying news of Sista's mysterious death. GRAB THE KLEENEX AND PREPARE to experience a wide range of emotions. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, you discover there's so much more to this family's deep dark secrets! The "Meeting Tree" stories were ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS and I thoroughly
...more
Mariannette Anita Jones
They tell me of a home

I devoured this book in two settings! Love his development of characters and recording of our history.
Looking forward to the next book
Kathy
I had seen reviews about this author and decided to take the plunge and bought this book. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading. As I read I discovered that this family was very brutal and unloving and educatio took a back seat to hard work and a hard scrapple life. There seemed to be a struggle between the parents and TL a young bright boy who had a passion for reading and life. The mother and father wanted to dim his light and make him comply with the way they lived. There is so ...more
Leatha Writes
I love Mr. Black work.His books are set in the South and based on my Grandmothers stories while growing up in Arkansas I can see his story come alive.Our Main Character Tommy finds out you can leave home but apart of you will always remain rooted where you grew up. I felt so much pain for Tommy searching for truths that maybe should remain hidden. Tommy left in search of a better life not realizing the devastating effect his departure would have on his family. Needing closure or so he thought he ...more
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NOTE: There is more than one author with this name on Goodreads.Daniel Black author of Be Careful What You Wish For

Daniel Black is a native of Kansas City, Kansas, yet spent the majority of his childhood years in Blackwell, Arkansas. He is an associate professor at his alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, where he now aims to provide an example to young Americans of the importance of self-knowled
...more
More about Daniel Black...
Perfect Peace Twelve Gates to the City The Sacred Place Complicated Currents: Media Flows, Soft Power and East Asia Android by Example using Android Studio

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“Carrying a child is a sacred thing. There is a bond established between mother and child in the womb that lasts forever. The truth of this bond can never be erased.” 1 likes
“God already knowed what you was gon’ pray for befo’ you was eva born. He done already took yo’ requests into account when he was planning de world.” 0 likes
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