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Sonny's Blues

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message 1: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Wyss | 171 comments Anyone read James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues"? Read it this morning for the first time (or at least the first time since college) and thought it was really powerful.


message 2: by Chris (new)

Chris Antenen | 139 comments I finally found it in a book on my own shelf, Geoff, - 'You've Got to Read This,' a collection first out in 94 and just full of great stuff, each story introduced by someone of equal stature. You're right Geoff, Sonny's Blues' is really powerful, and yet a steady tale of real days in a Harlem life. But I kept on reading. James Agee's, 'A Mother's Tale' which I had read before - and then an absolute gem in two pages 'The Flowers' by Alice Walker. Don't miss it. It left me stunned and I won't soon forget it. I can recommend the book, too. A friend recommended it to me and I bought it but haven't realized until now what a great collection it is ---- thanks to you.


message 3: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Wyss | 171 comments Nice, Chris, and thanks for the other recommendations. Started teaching "Sonny's" in my Eng III class today. I'm not sure the kids are enjoying it as much as I do, but then there's nothing exploding or landing from outer space....


message 4: by Chris (new)

Chris Antenen | 139 comments Would like to hear their comments, explosions or not. Do they relate?


message 5: by Anne (new)

Anne Elliott | 3 comments I love the way Baldwin was able to describe the nonverbal--ie instrumental music, gut emotion, etc. It's a classic. Maybe I'll go read it again. Thanks for the reminder.


message 6: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Wyss | 171 comments Well, they don't seem to hate it, Chris. The difficulty with that story (for 16 year-olds) is that it is about very deep, very slow things--a relationship between brothers spread out over decades, the pursuit of an artistic discipline, stuff like that. It's not that they don't relate but that it takes work to relate, and I wish more of them were willing to put in that work without my cajoling, quizzing, and preaching. But that's what it is to teach English in 2012.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris Antenen | 139 comments That's true, it is a relationship of the brothers over years. That's hard for kids to grasp. They want NOW. I have a sixteen-year-old granddaughter and thank goodness she loves to read. She would get it. Read 'A Separate Peace' for school, and we talked about the difference between those years when all boys her age had to anticipate going to war and today when boys (and girls)can choose whether to go or not. She talked me into reading all of the Harry Potter books and now she wants me to read 'The Hunger Game' ???


message 8: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Wyss | 171 comments A lot of my students are reading The Hunger Games. It doesn't sound very interesting to me when they describe it.


message 9: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) | 149 comments I love this story there is so much to it! Amazing


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