Set mostly in middle-class black Philadelphia during the crack and Reagan years, the characters in these stories are vivid misfits―a heathen at Jesus camp, a scheming prep-school student, a middle-aged mom pining for her salsa-dancing salad days, a scheming twentysomething virgin, a college stud in love with his weight-lifting partner, a lonely girl in love with a yellow dress.
Asali Solomon's Get Down is a book that understands the degree to which race and racial identity are so often about performance ... Solomon's characters are aware of the ways in which they are weird and quirky and lonely and awkward and searching and human. They are aware of the ways in which they are never far from their histories, and never free from the prisms through which they are viewed ... The thread that ultimately ties these stories together, and these characters to readers, is the raw desire for genuine human connection in the face of everything — race included — that seems determined to sabotage it.
There is so much compassion for the human heart in these stories. You will get caught up in the characters and the circumstances of their lives. You will relate to the stories of Black America during the 1980s when Ronald Reagan was President, The Cosby Show was a given weekly experience and hip hop was born. Asali Solomon is a young writer to watch. Her voice is clear and her vision is unmistakably our story.