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Magical Negro

Magical Negro

From the breakout author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé comes a profound and deceptively funny exploration of Black American womanhood.

‘2019 justly belongs to Morgan Parker. Her poems shred me with their intelligence, dark humor and black-hearted vision. Parker is one of this generation’s best minds’ Danez Smith, winner of the Forward Prize

‘A riveting testimony to everyday blackness . . . It is wry and atmospheric, an epic work of aural pleasures and personifications that demands to be read – both as an account of a private life and as searing political protest’ TIME Magazine


Magical Negro is an archive of Black everydayness, a catalogue of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms and customs. These poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma and objectification, while exploring tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans.

Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics – of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience.

In Magical Negro, Morgan Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present – timeless Black melancholies and triumphs.
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Genre: Literature & Literary Studies / Poetry

On Sale: 7th February 2019

Price: £10.99

ISBN-13: 9781472154071

Reviews

Another lay-it-all-on-the-line volume of scorching verse
O Magazine
Parker's poetry is a sledgehammer covered in silk, exposing black women's vulnerability and power and underscoring what it means to be magical and in pain.
BuzzFeed
Another lay-it-all-on-the-line volume of scorching verse
O Magazine
Parker's poetry is a sledgehammer covered in silk, exposing black women's vulnerability and power and underscoring what it means to be magical and in pain.
Buzzfeed
Fierce, playful and political . . . Holding history and the contemporary to account, Magical Negro meets prejudice with an unwavering eye.
The Guardian
Magical Negro is unsettlingly new: a book that incisively explores states of black womanhood with astonishing buoyancy and grief. I can't stop thinking about the songs it sings, songs that feel inevitable and yet unvoiced, complex and yet urgent; poems that are steeped in pop culture and the here-and-now of actual life while also being refracted through the darkest lens of American history. To read it is to wonder what each poem will do next, and to be reminded, over and over, of Parker's extraordinary lyric gifts.
Meghan O'Rourke
Morgan Parker continues to fearlessly explore what it means to be a black woman in the United States today. . . . Bold and edgy, the writing spotlights the strength and tenacity that enable the speaker to survive grief and inequity. It also gives voice to her disappointments and delights as she claims - and proclaims - agency over her body and her life
Washington Post
2019 justly belongs to Morgan Parker. Her poems shred me with their intelligence, dark humor and black-hearted vision. Parker is one of this generation's best minds, able to hold herself and her world, which includes all of us, up to impossible lights, revealing every last bit of our hopes, failings, possibilities and raptures.
Danez Smith, New York Times
A riveting testimony to everyday blackness . . . Magical Negro's soft radiance permeates the soul, inspiring a disquieting melancholy. It is wry and atmospheric, an epic work of aural pleasures and personifications that demands to be read - both as an account of a private life and as searing political protest
Time magazine
If you're anxious for your snug perspective to be rattled and ripped asunder, for the predictable landscape you stroll to become all but unrecognizable, for things you thought you knew to slap you into another consciousness - brethren, have I got the book for you. Bey's bestie continues her reign with this restless, fierce, and insanely inventive way of walking through the world. Once again, children - ignore Ms. Parker at your peril.
Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art
As witnessed in this third collection, blackness cannot be confined to a simple definition. Parker writes of the black experience not as an antidote or opposite to whiteness, but a culture and community where irreplicable nuances are created in spite of, not because of, pain and trauma . . . Parker uses personal narratives to deconstruct societal stereotypes of black womanhood.
Publishers Weekly, starred review
2019's big new poetry. Parker exposes the personal and political with such verve and confidence, it'll leave you reeling
Stylist magazine
Magical Negro is unsettlingly new: a book that incisively explores states of black womanhood with astonishing buoyancy and grief . . . To read it is to wonder what each poem will do next, and to be reminded, over and over, of Parker's extraordinary lyric gifts.
Meghan O'Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye