Sunday, March 20, 2011

Silver Sparrow's Crossover Appeal

Besides this, my personal blog, I also contribute to Color Online,* a blog that focuses on promoting the works of female authors of color. On occasion I will rerun a young adult or middle grade review. Though for the most part there isn't much over lap. Since I tend to review fiction at Color Online.

Though I never know what to do with novels that have Young Adult crossover appeal. Should I review them twice? And write each one to fit the target audience? Last year I came across four such titles

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans CO interview(loved Evan's answers)
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

All were reviewed at Color Online but not here.

I recently finished Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. The book comes out at the end of May. I requested a copy with hopes of reviewing it over at Color Online. It didn't take me long to realize two things, 1. I absolutely loved the writing. Its so beauifully done. 2. The story has some serious crossover appeal.

Set in Atlanta in the 1980's. Its the story of James Witherspoon a man with two wives. Each with one daughter. The second wife and child knew about the first family.

Part I is Dana Lynn Yarboro (the second daughter), Part II is Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon (the first daughter)

"My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist. He was already married ten years when he first clamped eyes on my mother. In 1968, she was working at the gift wrap counter at Davison's downtown when my father asked her to wrap the carving knife he had brought his wife for their wedding anniversary. Mother said she knew that something wasn't right between man and a woman when the gift was a blade. I said that maybe it means there was a kind of trust between them. I love my mother, but we tend to see things a little bit differently. The point is that James's marriage was never hidden from us. James is what I call him. His other daughter, Chaurisse, the one who grew up in the house with him, she calls him Daddy even now."

Silver Sparrow is one of my favorite novels of the year. It can be pre ordered at Amazon for 40% off.

A review of Silver Sparrow at Reads4Pleasure

The other contributors -
Ari, Tarie, Terri, Nathalie, and Vasilly


Vasilly said...

That is a great quote! It says so much about the two families in one small paragraph. It sounds like a really good read.

Doret said...

Its so good and that's the opening paragraph.

Tayari Jones said...

Thank you so much for this lovely endorsement. I really appreciate it. There were a LOT of obstacles in getting this book out, but this novel seemed determined the find its way, and I am glad it found its way to you. Thank you again for this warm and generous review.

Doret said...

Tayari, thanks so much for stopping by and for the wonderful new novel.

The review is coming. This was simply a preview, since couldn't wait to tell people about Silver Sparrow.

Again congratulations.

Belgie said...

I am a long time fan of Tayari Jones' work and was delighted to find her new novel is her best yet. With this novel, "Silver Sparrow," Jones has found her own dazzlingly original voice, and in her hands, a sparrow sudden becomes a soaring songbird. Family secrets, determined women and mysterious men make the Witherspoon family a clan to be reckoned with in ways you can't imagine until you find yourself a part of their complicated lives. Since I was lucky enough to have Tayari as one of my writing students when she was an undergraduate at Spelman College, I always told her I was going to claim to be the one who taught her everything she knows. With this book, she puts my claim to shame. What she knows comes from the deepest part of the human heart and nobody can teach you that.