Tara M. Stringfellow liberates the voices of three generations of inner-city black women

Tara M. Stringfellow liberates the voices of three generations of inner-city black women

Cécile “SeriaReader”, bookstagrameuse etc contribution reader groups 20 minute booksI recommend you “Memphis” by Tara M. Stringfellow, published on January 11, 2023 by Éditions Charleston.

His favorite quote:

This low house was a cat dozing in the shade of a plum tree, a stark contrast to the two-story Victorian fortress we had just left. […] The long driveway crossed the entire garden, divided into two parts by double doors. But what made the house breathe, what gave it lungs, was the veranda at the foot of its facade. A wide stone staircase led up to this gallery covered with ivy, honeysuckle and glory.

Why this book?

  • Because Memphis depicts the daily life of black people in the United States, in poor neighborhoods where violence reigns, but not only. Between segregation, oppression, it is also a novel that brings a wonderful touch of hope. The women who make up the characters bear the brunt of the hardships, but each time they become stronger. They are incredibly resilient despite the hardships they face. Because in trouble we recognize great women. The bonds that unite them, sisters, mothers or aunts, are very touching.
  • Because Memphisit is a family fresco that stretches through three generations, from the 1960s to 2000. A fresco in which we first follow the life of Hazel and her love for Myron, who left too soon. Then Miriam and August, her daughters. And finally, Mya and Joan.
  • Because Tara M. Stringfellow’s pen is magnificent, sweet and poetic. And despite the flashbacks during which the characters are lost in their thoughts, the story with double or even triple temporality brings depth to the story and allows the visualization of the strength of these women.

The most important in 2 minutes

Action. Miriam, Joan’s mother, runs away from her abusive husband and comes to live with her sister August and her nephew Derek. A difficult choice for Miriam considering that Joan experienced trauma there when she was only three years old.

Characters. Joan, an emerging artist, his sister Mya. Miriam, his mother, as well as his aunt August and his cousin Derek. Finally, Hazel and Myron, his grandparents.

Places. Memphis, Tennessee.

Time. From the 1960s to the 2000s.

Author. Tara M. Stringfellow is a poet, former attorney, originally from Memphis.

This book was read with anger at the crimes the black community had to endure. I will never understand what makes men hate skin color so much.

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