This book ravaged and then healed my weary soul. Jenkins takes a micro and macro look at the exhaustion and triumph of black womanhood, and each of these essays is poignant enough on its own. When linked together in her book, the pieces become a subtle knife, cutting through the membrane of gender and racial disparity that covers our country. Jerkins uses herself not simply as an reference point, but as a dissection subject, laid on the table and explained.
— Hannah Oliver Depp, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbo
Green is a first-rate debut novel and a modern Bildungsroman. A careful, powerful meditation on race, injustice, and adolescence set in Boston in the year 1992, it follows David Greenfield, “one of the few white kids at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School,” who is Nike-less and friendless, until Marlon Wellings, “a loner from the public housing project” who chooses to stand up for him in the school cafeteria. As the two boys grow tighter, the breaks that have been given to Dave — and not to Marlon — become clearer. This is a book about growing up for adults.
Community Bookstore’s pick: “Nonhuman Photography” by Joanna Zylinska
Zylinska’s new book is a meditation on the many ways in which photographic images, which surround us now in near-ubiquity, from paper to screen, have taken on lives of their own. From the days of early photographs — the first images produced not by an artist’s hand but by ‘the pencil of nature,’ to the 21st century landscape of electronic surveillance and social media, Zylinska traces the construction of a kind of visual consciousness increasingly untethered to human agency. Drawing on art history, as well as the history of natural science, Zylinska describes her unique notion of photography as a “light-induced process of fossilization across media and across time scales.”
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun