A singular memoir highlighting 'the outstanding humanity of black America' that tells the story of one unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and the life they lead in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s.
Davis includes wonderful details about growing up as the daughter of a numbers runner ... Davis lovingly describes a childhood full of creature comforts ... But she juxtaposes nearly every detail of the good life with the slow decay of Detroit around her ... Davis accomplishes this through archival research ... Especially exhilarating is her history of lotteries ... Davis’s book is accessible, her language plain and direct. She has a cleareyed understanding of what it means to be poor and what kind of opportunities money creates ...The World According to Fannie Davis would make a thrilling film ... We need more stories like Fannie’s—the triumph and good life of a lucky black woman in a deeply corrupt world.
While Fannie Davis shines as the central figure, and deservedly so, the Davis family story reads like a chapter of the American experience. But theirs is a story usually left out of history books or glossed over with little attention paid to the lives of the people who lived these experiences. This book corrects that omission ... For readers who crave the richer, fuller history of America than is usually imparted by school books, Davis emerges as a valuable and needed voice...But mostly her book stands as a loving tribute to a remarkable woman, her mother.
The World According to Fannie Davis is daughter’s gesture of loving defiance, an act of reclamation, an absorbing portrait of her mother in full ... Blending memoir and social history, she recounts her mother’s extraordinary story alongside the larger context of Motor City’s rise and fall ... the novelist in Davis knows that Fannie’s whole story was more complicated than a daughter’s protectiveness will allow.