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I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots
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I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  539 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Straight's portrayal of a black woman's life is nearly miraculous in its astonishing richness of detail, its emotional honesty and its breadth of human thought and feeling." -- "USA Today
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published July 15th 1993 by Turtleback Books (first published 1992)
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This is my second? third? Susan Straight novel. When I finally took a second to look at the back flap author blurb, you could have punched in the face I was so shocked. She's ...white.... Does...does she live in an all Black neighborhood? Black hubbie?

Anywho, this book is pretty good. If it weren't for having to re-read the Gullah parts, it's almost as good as Blacker than a Thousand Midnights.

The best part is that, although a white woman writing this, this isn't some "poor black people wallow
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
Wow. The protagonist in this story is a woman of incredible strength and depth of character that makes me want -- still to this day -- to be able to forge ahead through the challenges of life with dignity.
Jan Priddy
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a few hours to read the last dozen pages. I did not want this story to end. In truth, it doesn't feel like it ended, more like real life going on without me.

I did not see it coming. I did not mind that a substantial section involved sport. I rooted for the characters but loved them like my own people. Despite failures and disappointments and error and loss, this is a hopeful novel at a time when hope is much-needed. People do the best they can with what they have. They make mistakes.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots by Susan Straight opens in a Gullah-speaking village in South Carolina where 14-year-old Marietta Cook’s mother is ailing. After she dies, Marietta makes her way to Charleston. Already as tall as a man, with skin like her father's -- as dark as night -- she gets herself a job doing men's work: cleaning fish, hauling goods and mopping floors. In time, she also finds a lover, so when her pregnancy begins to show, she returns to her home villa ...more
Donna Davis
How many white authors have the nerve to write as if they can see into the very soul of an African-American protagonist? I only know of one, and I think she carries it off really well.

There's good reason for it: Straight grew up as virtually the only Caucasian in a Black neighborhood in Riverside, California.

She's written several good novels, but this one may be the most memorable so far. Her protagonist lives in an almost unreachable island off the Carolina coasts. Deep back in a nearly impene
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been putting off reading this book even though I bought it for my Kindle weeks ago. I've never heard of Susan Straight, and wasn't sure what the book would be about, reading the title. I am a student of African American history, and culture. I knew I would probably like the book, but was afraid to be disappointed.

I definitely wasn't disappointed! This book has a poignancy and a seriousness to it that made it very hard to put down. I read into the night two nights, and finished the book in t
Janey Skinner
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a moving account of a woman's path through life, standing up for herself and her own, resisting the structures of slavery that persisted into the 20th century (and on to today). Marietta is a captivating character, and I especially enjoyed how Marietta's close relationships were portrayed - with the older generation (whether birth family or found family), with her sons, with the first man she feel for and with the last one, too. The writing is lyrical and vivid. I was struck, early in th ...more
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad book to read, but so interesting. I was surprised to learn about the perspective of another, one I assumed was a lot like me. I don't realize the assumptions I make. For example, the main character, Marietta, is at a football game, wearing her new "Africa" print top. A white man approaches her and asks if this is her first football game. "You're from Africa, right?" When she tells her daughter-in-law about this later, the daughter-in-law says, "What was he going to do if you were? Start talk ...more
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling novel set (at first) in 1960s backwoods South Carolina. A little tricky to get past the regional black patois at the beginning, but after that a fast read. Very good local color of the Charleston area and later on of Southern California.
Apr 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
susan straight is one of my absolute favorite authors. every single book of hers is amazing and will take you to places (i'm thinking that ..) you've never been. if i told you the plot, it wouldn't even begin to do it justice - just read it!
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Susan Straight's newest novel is "Between Heaven and Here." It is the last in the Rio Seco Trilogy, which began with "A Million Nightingales" and "Take One Candle Light a Room." She has published eight novels, a novel for young readers and a children's book. She has also written essays and articles for numerous national publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation and
More about Susan Straight...