Joe's Reviews > Getting Mother's Body

Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
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's review
Nov 21, 2007

it was amazing

Getting Mother's Body along with ZZ Packer's Drinking Coffee Elsewhere are two of the freshest, most exciting works of African American fiction that I have come across in years. They're also two of the best books I've bought this year. Both books (Packer's is a collection of short stories) eschews the common girlfriends/black-men-are-no-good themes of most comtemporary black writers like McMillan and shy away from more cerebral themes like Morrison or Walker. Instead this is fiction, straight forward fiction meant to entertian, that just so happens to have black main characters.

Getting Mother's Body, like McMillan's Day Late and a Dollar Short, is told from the POV of several characters with the purposeful use of bad grammar. Although some grammatical purists may find it difficult to get into the novel for that reason, I felt it lent an honest and real voice to the characters. Not everyone says "are not" instead of "ain't" or "going to" instead of "gonna". Personally, I found the purposeful use of bad grammar more difficlut to follow in McMillan's Day Late... than Getting Mother's Body.

I won't go into the particulars of the novel as so many others have. What I will say is that this is a breezy, fast and fun read. Parks is a vivid storyteller and her images scroll across your mind like a well paced movie. Pick this up and see for yourself. Pure, unadulterated fun.


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