Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic

(Editor) (Contribution by)
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Product Details
$18.95  $17.62
Lookout Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.71 pounds

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About the Author
Valerie Boyd was the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Georgia, where she founded and directed the low-residency MFA in narrative nonfiction, opening doors for women and people of color and establishing a community of writers and editors that continues to flourish. The New York Times called her "an electrifying essayist and an energizing mentor." A scholar of the Black archive, she was author of the critically acclaimed Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston and editor of Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker. Boyd was formerly arts editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and senior consulting editor at the Bitter Southerner. She wrote for the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Bon Appétit, ESSENCE, and the Oxford American, among many others.

"Eloquent and riveting, Boyd's collection delivers not only, as she promises in her introduction, 'a long exhalation, a silent prayer, a solace and a comfort' but also, in the words of Imani Perry, a celebration of Blackness as 'an immense and defiant joy.' This one's not to be missed."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review, Big Indie Book of Fall

"A map of ancestral knowledge, revelatory insight, and feelings laid bare . . . These pages share poems of hope, narratives of loss, anger, fear, loneliness, togetherness, death, and most potently, life, to paint a portrait . . . resonant to all."
--Library Journal, Editors' Pick"The contributions to Bigger Than Bravery . . . encourage readers to consider how to make good use of the moments we have--to persist past hardship, find joy in adversity, be resilient, survive, live on (or be remembered)."
--Michael Kleber-Diggs, Minneapolis Star Tribune"Spanning emotions from anger and frustration to joy and levity, Bigger Than Bravery is a multi-faceted look at the Black experience during the coronavirus pandemic. It tackles thorny issues and raises difficult questions, but ultimately it offers a ray of hope."
--Suzanne Van Atten, Atlanta Journal-Constitution"Crafted as an act of resistance to despair during the COVID-19 pandemic--which has disproportionately affected African Americans--Bigger Than Bravery gathers poetry and prose from thirty-one Black writers whose words offer 'comfort as we reach toward the promise of brighter days ahead.' "
--Poets & Writers"A brilliant chronicle of the Black experience in the age of Covid-19. As this generation's leading writers struggle to live with both the virus and rising social injustice, their grief over lost loved ones, personal fears, and the pervading loneliness of isolation eventually lead them on the path to self-rediscovery. Valerie Boyd's Bigger Than Bravery isn't just an anthology; it is a survival guide. As the country slowly finds itself returning to normal life, the authors' reflections on Black resilience and reclamation not only have the power to heal but provide hope and a road map for a brighter, more inclusive future."
--Courtney B. Vance, Tony- and Emmy-winning actor"Heart-wrenching, funny, and outrageously human, these pieces help us reflect on a dark period of a global pandemic and the shifting meanings of normalcy."
--Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of the New York Times Best Seller Patsy"In this anthology, Black writers explore the courage, the fear, and all the mottled emotions in between that ruled us during the most uncertain days of the pandemic. Their powerful essays and poems take the breath away, then help us to breathe again."
--Jacqueline Woodson, author of the New York Times Best Sellers Brown Girl Dreaming and Red at the Bone"After a year in which the longstanding inequities faced by Black people and communities were laid starkly bare, these pieces offer resistance and political commentary, yes. But they also--in prose and poetry that is thought-provoking, moving, and wise--delve into deeply personal stories of longing and solitude, the pleasures of food and friendship, family histories, and the meaning of home. 'Resilience' is an overused and sometimes overvalued concept, and yet that's exactly what kept coming to mind as I read this fine collection: the writers' steadfast insistence not just on surviving, but thriving, on wresting joy from a time of crisis and loss."
--Nina Revoyr, author of Wingshooters and Southland"Bigger Than Bravery demonstrates the power of words to help heal what ails us. The timely collection provides the balm of comfort and joy we all need to overcome this peril, however long it takes."
--Charlayne Hunter-Gault, American civil rights activist, journalist, and foreign correspondent