Author: Parker, Morgan, Binding: Paperback, Imprint: Corsair, Series: N/A, Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group, Published: 07/02/2019, Pagination: 112 pages, Classification: Literature & literary studies, Country of Publication: United Kingdom
"Parker explores Black womanhood in America, reflecting on generational trauma, objectification and community. Looking at internal and external factors that bring all these poems together, Parker uses humour and has a matter-of-factness to her imagery which transports you into her stories: "We don't pray anymore/the way our parents taught us./Instead we stack our arms with wood and music/hatches from our tongue rings./Hymns for dead, hookahs for/the almost-dead. Praise our half-lives."
From the breakout author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé comes a profound and deceptively funny exploration of Black American womanhood.
‘2019 justly belongs to Morgan Parker. Her poems shred me with their intelligence, dark humor and black-hearted vision. Parker is one of this generation’s best minds’ Danez Smith, winner of the Forward Prize
‘A riveting testimony to everyday blackness . . . It is wry and atmospheric, an epic work of aural pleasures and personifications that demands to be read – both as an account of a private life and as searing political protest’ TIME Magazine
Magical Negro is an archive of Black everydayness, a catalogue of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms and customs. These poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma and objectification, while exploring tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans.
Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics – of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience.
In Magical Negro, Morgan Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present – timeless Black melancholies and triumphs.