Review of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans (2006)
This collection of short stories explores the often painful complications of being black and mixed race in modern America. The intensity of the writing leaves the reader breathless and shaken but immediately turning the page for more. Each story shows a new and painful aspect of youth and the experience of racism, from the tale of a mixed race girl dropped off at her racist grandmother’s for the summer, to black and latina college students rejected for egg donation in favor of their blond-haired, blue-eyed neighbors. The subtleties and not-so-subtleties of racism are made clear through powerfully cold language. The characters drive the stories forward through real and unapologetic dialogue and introspection that breaks the reader’s heart.