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Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction

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A necessary and relevant addition to the Black LGBTQ literary canon, which oftentimes overlooks Black lesbian writing, Lez Talk is a collection of short stories that embraces the fullness of Black lesbian experiences. The contributors operate under the assumption that “lesbian” is not a dirty word, and have written stories that amplify the diversity of Black lesbian lives. A necessary and relevant addition to the Black LGBTQ literary canon, which oftentimes overlooks Black lesbian writing, Lez Talk is a collection of short stories that embraces the fullness of Black lesbian experiences. The contributors operate under the assumption that “lesbian” is not a dirty word, and have written stories that amplify the diversity of Black lesbian lives. At once provocative, emotional, adventurous, and celebratory, Lez Talk crosses a range of fictional genres, including romance, speculative, and humor. The writers explore new subjects and aspects of their experiences, and affirm their gifts as writers and lesbian women. Beginning with Claudia Moss’s “Who Cooks for You?” a lush romantic tale of self-discovery, the collection also includes work from Sheree L. Greer, Lauren Cherelle, LaToya Hankins, S.Andrea Allen, K.A. Smith, Eternity Philops, and Faith Mosley.


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A necessary and relevant addition to the Black LGBTQ literary canon, which oftentimes overlooks Black lesbian writing, Lez Talk is a collection of short stories that embraces the fullness of Black lesbian experiences. The contributors operate under the assumption that “lesbian” is not a dirty word, and have written stories that amplify the diversity of Black lesbian lives. A necessary and relevant addition to the Black LGBTQ literary canon, which oftentimes overlooks Black lesbian writing, Lez Talk is a collection of short stories that embraces the fullness of Black lesbian experiences. The contributors operate under the assumption that “lesbian” is not a dirty word, and have written stories that amplify the diversity of Black lesbian lives. At once provocative, emotional, adventurous, and celebratory, Lez Talk crosses a range of fictional genres, including romance, speculative, and humor. The writers explore new subjects and aspects of their experiences, and affirm their gifts as writers and lesbian women. Beginning with Claudia Moss’s “Who Cooks for You?” a lush romantic tale of self-discovery, the collection also includes work from Sheree L. Greer, Lauren Cherelle, LaToya Hankins, S.Andrea Allen, K.A. Smith, Eternity Philops, and Faith Mosley.

30 review for Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Naz (Read Diverse Books)

    Review coming next week.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Delilah Night

    Allen and Cherelle did a standout job. The stories were ordered in a way that I wanted to keep reading, rather than feel fatigued. The variation in themes kept the anthology from being repetitive (which is always a danger). I finished the anthology last week, and I’ve been talking it up like crazy. As a bookworm, I know of no higher form of praise. While I like most of the stories, there were some standouts that deserve extra applause. K.A. Smith has two stories in the anthology. Darker the Berry Allen and Cherelle did a standout job. The stories were ordered in a way that I wanted to keep reading, rather than feel fatigued. The variation in themes kept the anthology from being repetitive (which is always a danger). I finished the anthology last week, and I’ve been talking it up like crazy. As a bookworm, I know of no higher form of praise. While I like most of the stories, there were some standouts that deserve extra applause. K.A. Smith has two stories in the anthology. Darker the Berry and Two Moons. In Darker the Berry, what looks like a supermarket pickup and casual sex turns out to be so much more complex than it first appears. I told K.A. that I would love to read a novel set in the Two Moons world because in such a short, lyrical piece, she does some intriguing world-building. K.A. is a member in my “never disappoints” club–I know that if I’m picking up an anthology or independent work by her, I will never be disappointed. S. Andrea Allen’s story, Pretty, resonated strongly for me. It begins “Everybody said she was pretty, for a fat girl.” I don’t think that there is a plus-sized woman who hasn’t heard that dig. I blinked back tears at the end of the story for that, too, was a moment I identified with. Her second story in the anthology, Epiphany, is the story of a love gone toxic. What do you do when you need to leave a relationship, but can’t see the way out? I walked away wanting to read more by Allen because in both stories, I became emotionally invested in her character’s stories and their outcomes. Eternity Philops nearly broke my heart with The Other Side of Crazy. Delilah’s girlfriend Sam is cheating on her. Again. She waits for Sam to come home, but she doesn’t. Delilah ends up seeing Sam ]kissing a girl. The resolution of their story is gut-wrenching. Of all the stories in the anthology, this is the one that I’ve most revisited, emotionally, and continue to think about. La Toya Hankins’s One More weaves the story of Toni’s first few decades of life. We bear witness to her first flickering crush in childhood that ends in shame, to her mom threatening to pull her financial support in college unless Toni renounces being gay, and the eve of her wedding. We see glimpses of the journey her family has taken on the road to accepting and celebrating Toni for who she is. Everyone except her mother. It hurts to be judged. It’s doubly painful when one’s mother–the person society tells us is supposed to love us no matter what–is the one doing the denying and shaming. Hankins deftly tells the story without allowing it to ever dip into melodrama, which it easily could have in the hands of a less skilled author. Bring tissues. I would really love to see this become an annual anthology, or the first in a series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction is an anthology of sixteen short stories collected and edited by S. Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle. These stories are all centered on black lesbians. For the most part, I really like most – if not all of these contributions. Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction contains sixteen short stories and most are written exceptionally well. The short stories varied in length and subject matter. These stories are written, plotted, con Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction is an anthology of sixteen short stories collected and edited by S. Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle. These stories are all centered on black lesbians. For the most part, I really like most – if not all of these contributions. Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction contains sixteen short stories and most are written exceptionally well. The short stories varied in length and subject matter. These stories are written, plotted, constructed extremely well, and stars black lesbians. Like most anthologies, there are weaker contributions, and Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, but it was a couple of short stories that I felt that was mediocrity done in comparison to the rest and it did not lessen the enjoyment of the collection. All in all, Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction is a wonderful collection of short stories starring lesbians who happen to be black.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    I don't feel really qualified to review a lot of the stories in this anthology. There are some that I really enjoyed and some that I felt I lacked the context to enjoy; as a white person, that was what I expected. Nonetheless, it's amazing to even have this collection and I am greatly appreciative of the editor and authors. I don't feel really qualified to review a lot of the stories in this anthology. There are some that I really enjoyed and some that I felt I lacked the context to enjoy; as a white person, that was what I expected. Nonetheless, it's amazing to even have this collection and I am greatly appreciative of the editor and authors.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shanae MossRichardson

    Entertaining This was a pretty good collection of short stories. There were a couple that had endings that seemed rushed but they were all entertaining to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    willowdog

    Very uneven collection of short stories. Only three I thought were above average. Some seemed to be more urban fiction.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This collection has a variety of fiction styles, including speculative and erotica. Some stories may blend a few sub-genres of fiction. I only liked a few of the stories in the first half. I was concerned that I would dislike the book overall. The second half was much better, though. The collection also had a lot of missing punctuation marks, (commas and hyphens specifically), as well as other grammatical errors.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads. And it was amazingly written from start to finish. Each story was uniquely different but all of them felt cohesive with one another. The sex scenes were not over the top or over done. The characters felt real and full of depth. And it has a some supernatural in a couple of stories. It was very enjoyable and I look forward to seeing much more both from the authors and from the publishing company.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Janani

    A fantastic anthology to kick off the new year. The stories cover a wide range and explore a variety of themes, and are arranged in such a manner that it doesn't tire the reader. QWOC are not a monolith, and this anthology definitely endorses that. Flirty, sensual, happy, morose, dreamy- there's a plethora of experiences covered. #DAReadathon #queerlit #diversebooks #ownvoices A fantastic anthology to kick off the new year. The stories cover a wide range and explore a variety of themes, and are arranged in such a manner that it doesn't tire the reader. QWOC are not a monolith, and this anthology definitely endorses that. Flirty, sensual, happy, morose, dreamy- there's a plethora of experiences covered. #DAReadathon #queerlit #diversebooks #ownvoices

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cori Nichols

    I won this book in a goodreads.com giveaway I enjoyed this book and the stories in it. Want to know more about? Check out my blog: https://journeyingwithceltic.wordpres... I won this book in a goodreads.com giveaway I enjoyed this book and the stories in it. Want to know more about? Check out my blog: https://journeyingwithceltic.wordpres...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katelijne Sommen

    An excellent anthology, with several stories that deserve to be reviewed on their own. Well-put-together by the editors, with an internal logic and a high standard of quality and themes.

  12. 5 out of 5

    AgentAletha

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tobi Jackson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Candice Collins

  15. 5 out of 5

    B Foster

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joy

  17. 4 out of 5

    K.L. Finalley

  18. 4 out of 5

    AM dial

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kerryann

  20. 5 out of 5

    Milouchkna

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jana

  22. 5 out of 5

    Renee Cronin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gaby

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tyra

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

  26. 5 out of 5

    Corey Davis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dee

  28. 5 out of 5

    Havelock

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maura Foley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristel

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