YOUR VOTES HAVE BEEN COUNTED!
7 days of nominations!
7 days of voting!
And now we have a winner for our first book of 2019.
The Mocha Girl Read Book of the Month for January 2019 is Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood
Take a minute to see what this book is all about.
Shay Youngblood’s debut novel, Soul Kiss, received accolades from reviewers and writers alike. The Washington Post hailed it as “intelligent and erotic…immensely engrossing and satisfying,” while The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called it “exquisite.” while Tina McElroy Ansa described it as “extraordinary…lyrical, intimate, funny, unsettling, enthralling.” Now, in her second novel, Youngblood explores the endeavor of a creative coming-of-age, and infuses her story with the same mesmerizing, lush language and impressionistic style that won her so many fans the first time around.
Black Girl in Paris wends its way around the mythology of Paris as a city that has called out to African-American artists. Like James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, and Billie Holiday, Youngblood’s heroine leaves the American South, nurturing a dream of finding artistic emancipation in the City of Light. She experiments freely, inhabiting different incarnations—artist’s model, poet’s helper, au pair, teacher, thief, and lover—to keep body and soul together, to stay afloat, heal the wounds of her broken heart, discover her sexual self, and, finally, to wrestle her dreams of becoming a writer into reality.
Youngblood’s lyricism, as effortless as an inspired improvisation, and her respect for the tradition she depicts create a natural tension between old and new, reverence and innovation, and tell a story at once timeless and immediate.
Meet the Author
Georgia born writer Shay Youngblood is author of the novels Black Girl in Paris and Soul Kiss (Riverhead Books) and a collection of short fiction, The Big Mama Stories (Firebrand Books). Her plays Amazing Grace, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery and Talking Bones, (Dramatic Publishing Company), have been widely produced. Her other plays include Black Power Barbie and Communism Killed My Dog. She completed a radio play, Explain Me the Blues for WBGO Public Radio’s Jazz Play Series, featuring Odetta and the music of Olu Dara. The recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Pushcart Prize for fiction, a Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, an Edward Albee honoree, several NAACP Theater Awards, an Astraea Writers’ Award for fiction and a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Sustained Achievement Award.
Ms. Youngblood graduated from Clark-Atlanta University and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. Her fiction, articles and essays have been published in Oprah magazine, Good Housekeeping, Black Book and Essence magazines among others. She has worked as a Peace Corp Volunteer in the Eastern Caribbean, an Au Pair, Artist’s Model, and Poet’s Helper in Paris and Creative Writing instructor in a Rhode Island Women’s Prison. She is a board member of both Yaddo artists’ colony and the Author’s Guild. She has taught Creative Writing at NYU and was the 2002-03 John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is
currently Writer in Residence at Texas A&M University.
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