RaveNew York Times Book ReviewPart of the novel’s delight lies in Onuzo’s paralleling of stories: Francis Aggrey’s political coming-of-age, documented through excerpts from his journal, runs alongside Anna’s own transformation from suburban housewife to global citizen, growing ever more aware of the murky ethics of power along the way. The novel, named for a mythical bird that flies forward while facing backward, explores the possibilities and limits of evaluating one’s life choices retroactively ... With her anagrammatic take on the experience of the African diaspora, Onuzo’s sneakily breezy, highly entertaining novel leaves the reader rethinking familiar narratives of colonization, inheritance and liberation.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewLawton’s discussion of racial passing, transracial adoption, mixed-race identity and the health implications of being misidentified are freshly fascinating. She is a particularly astute observer of the psychological dislocation caused by growing up mixed race in a white family who never acknowledged her racial identity, and she writes beautifully about questions of identity and belonging, so central to each of us in finding our particular place in the world. When it comes to reconciling her newly embraced Black consciousness with the racial attitudes of her white family and friends, however, Lawton sidesteps the possibility of hurting them by saying only \'we’ve come a long way.\'
RaveThe New York Times Book Review... gorgeous and powerful ... In nuanced and richly textured scenes, Carroll reminds us how identity, particularly racial identity, is forged in a thousand different moments ... Carroll writes with the urgency and persuasiveness of someone whose life is hanging in the balance, and the result is raw and affecting.
Rave4Columns...Young demonstrates how time and again Americans are fooled and schooled ...describes the process as a kind of call-and-response that coaxes into being 'beliefs the hoaxers themselves may not have been aware of.' Often these beliefs involve race and difference...vivid storytelling... To read such a persuasive and exhaustive examination of the history and ubiquity of the hoax can leave you questioning anything that purports to be real — this is one of fakery’s most insidious consequences ...finishes on a sobering note, acknowledging his wish to conclude his tour more cheerfully — that he could claim that we’d survived this long era of bullshit to come out the truer and wiser.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewAfter the Eclipse pulls the reader swiftly along on parallel tracks of mystery and elegy. Early on, Perry dispels any question of whether her mother hastened her own death through her choices in men or her behavior, but she withholds who actually killed her mother until almost the end. The chapters alternate between Perry’s mother’s life — beginning with a childhood characterized by neglect, alcoholism and violence and her escape at 15 into a marriage to Perry’s father that brought more of the same — and Perry’s own life after her mother’s death … It’s a rhythm that builds suspense, which in other hands might feel prurient, but Perry’s scrupulous research and painstaking rendering of her experiences make her a trustworthy guide through such emotionally charged terrain. She’s also a wonderful writer with an assured sense of when to zoom in to her body’s somatic response for a piercing immediacy and when to pull back to convey the measured perspective gained through the distance of time.