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Jazz and Twelve O'Clock Tales: New Stories

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  14 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Poets who can write prose that equals their poetry are rare. With this collection of thirteen new short stories, Wanda Coleman, Los Angeles's unofficial poet laureate, proves an exception to the rule yet again. The characters in these stories lead lonely lives full of longing, of potential stifled by racism, poverty, and absurd accidents of fate. And yet, even though they ...more
Hardcover, 147 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by David R. Godine Publisher (first published January 1st 2007)
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Darryl
Apr 05, 2010 Darryl rated it it was ok
This is a collection of short stories about working class African-Americans living in Los Angeles, and their daily struggles, loves, frustrations, and dreams. Ms. Coleman is an accomplished poet, and the best stories in this book were the shorter ones, especially "Joy Ride", "Pepper", and "Backcity Transit by Day", which were hauntingly beautiful, like a Billie Holiday solo.

However, I did not enjoy most of the longer pieces to the same degree, with the exception of "Winona's Choice", in which a
...more
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passionate riffs on modern life
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Coleman was born Wanda Evans, and grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles during the 1960s. She received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The NEA, and the California Arts Council (in fiction and in poetry). She was the first C.O.L.A. literary fellow (Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, 2003). Her numerous honors included an Emmy in Daytime Drama writing, The ...more
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