Award winning writer Ntozake Shange and real life sister, award winning playwright Ifa Bayeza achieve nothing less than a modern classic in this epic story of the Mayfield family Opening dramatically at Sweet Tamarind, a rice and cotton plantation on an island off South Carolina s coast, we watch as recently emancipated Bette Mayfield says her goodbyes before fleeing foAward winning writer Ntozake Shange and real life sister, award winning playwright Ifa Bayeza achieve nothing less than a modern classic in this epic story of the Mayfield family Opening dramatically at Sweet Tamarind, a rice and cotton plantation on an island off South Carolina s coast, we watch as recently emancipated Bette Mayfield says her goodbyes before fleeing for the mainland With her granddaughter, Eudora, in tow, she heads to Charleston There, they carve out lives for themselves as fortune teller and seamstress Dora will marry, the Mayfield line will grow, and we will follow them on a journey through the watershed events of America s troubled, vibrant history from Reconstruction to both World Wars, from the Harlem Renaissance to Vietnam and the modern day Shange and Bayeza give us a monumental story of a family and of America, of songs and why we have to sing them, of home and of heartbreak, of the past and of the future, bright and blazing ahead.
Some Sing Some Cry Award winning writer Ntozake Shange and real life sister award winning playwright Ifa Bayeza achieve nothing less than a modern classic in this epic story of the Mayfield family Opening dramatically
This was a very good read and I urge you to give it a try Check out this live chat I did with Stephen from SteveReadsBooks Careful there are SPOILERS in the discussion browngirlreading 2015 11 0
ETA Lizzie, to me, appears to be inspired by the real person Josephine Baker You can find her at Wiki This book follows seven generations of a Black American family AND Black American music AND American history from slavery, the Reconstruction, WW1, the flu epidemic, the flappers, the Depression, WW2, the Vietnam war all the way through to the 21st Century 568 pages or 26 and 1 2 hours of listening time The book tries to do too much Black American music as it evolves is also reviewed gospel, jaz [...]
An incredibly interesting chronicle of the Mayfield family spanning from post Reconstruction era Charleston to 1920 s Harlem to the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama Chicago and ending with modern music I loved the strong themes of art and music in each decade and generation of the Mayfield women I am woefully ignorant to the time Harlem music time period and scene I found it fascinating and plan to read information on it The stronger theme throughout this book is the legacy the women of the May [...]
Starting shortly after the emancipation of the slaves, this fictitious family saga begins on the Sweet Tamarind plantation on one of the Carolina islands and covers seven generations as well as a good part of the world.Mah Bette considered herself wife to her master, Julius Mayfield, even as she was his slave, and she bore his children This is the story of her life after emancipation and the lives of the generations that followed her It is also a story of America and the ongoing battle for race [...]
I m so excited that I won this in a first reads giveaway It arrived the other day and I can t wait to read it I read some Shange in college and she s real good.OK, this book took me foorreeeever it s such a great American novel project This novel covers 7 generations of a black family, from emancipation through the 1960s.I really enjoyed it quite a bit in particular it was wonderful to see these eras in America through the lens of a black family particularly following musicians and the common mi [...]
Of course, I choose this book because of the name recognition as I have been a fan of Ntozake Shange s work for years I knew reading this book would be a long process as it is not just another book made for easy reading and ebook consumption Rather, this book is proof that literature is alive and well and those who still enjoy settling with a good book that does than entertain still have options.This sweeping tale does than chronicle the life of a family What Bayeza and Shange do here is tell [...]
All the reviews I read basically said the same thing it is not a perfect book but definitely glad they read the book not an easy book to get through an interesting approach to looking at black history it was a lyrical novelThe book did pick up once I got through the first time period it did start to flow better for me There were parts were I was fully engaged and others that I thought dragged on.There was a character or two that I really enjoyed reading about but many were just flat to me.The ac [...]
I m on page 106 of Ntozake Shange s Some Sing, Some Cry, a succulent and mammoth 576 page multigenerational novel about a recently emancipated family in Charleston, South Carolina The writing has such depth and the characters are so rich that I m intellectually full and emotionally drained after a chapter or two If I read too much, I m almost upset because I feel greedy about devouring the heart wrenching and satisfying prose.I mean there s a meeting in the church where Denmark Vesey planned his [...]
This is a compelling 200 year, 7 generation, history of a family of african american women The characters in the first 2 3 of the story came alive for me and drew me into their lives as if I was there But then things started rolling too quickly in the last 1 3 of the book and I kept forgetting who was who I am left thinking maybe a story of this power and magnitude should have been 2 books Or maybe something this sweeping, written by Shange and her sister, was too daunting to edit Here are a cou [...]
Loved it The story follows Mah Bette, a recently emancipated slave, and her family through seven generations I fell in love with the gutsy and strong woman and them living their lives through the gift of music This story is all about love, strength, loyalty and tragedy Things that we experience all through life.This is an incredible book, giving insight into the trials of African American women from just after the Civil War through the beginning of the twenty first century The beauty of the musi [...]
I listened to all 26 hours of this audiobook, and was enthralled, entertained, and sad to have it end Ntozake Shange and her sister Ifa Bayeza have crafted a sweeping saga of seven generations of Black women, interweaving within in it song, prayer, lament and love throughout You come to know and care about the family which began in violence in slavery and emerged, in our present time, in triumph A must read for anyone interested in African American literature.Note I highly recommend the audioboo [...]
This was a pretty good book other than the ending seemed like the authors were trying to rush the ending, which led to a confusing mix of new characters in the last 50 pagesbut other than that, I enjoyed it.
Beginning with the end of the Civil War, it is a multi generational saga of an African American family, and a good piece of American history as well The intermingling of American musical history gave the story added depth As is to be expected of a book of this scope, there is a huge number of characters I was surprised how easily I kept track of them all The dominant force in the story is the women All the women are strong, determined and passionate I was occasionally frustrated with the earlier [...]
Sweeping historical saga about seven generations of the Mayfield family, all of whom were either musical, spirited, or both.The story begins at Sweet Tamarind, the plantation where Ma Bette has, until just recently, been the slave and lover of Julius Mayfield With the Civil War over and her master dead, Ma Bette is finally free to leave the plantation, taking her granddaughter Dora with her Dora s mother, Juliette, alas, did not survive her own tenure as a slave Ma Bette and Dora start a new lif [...]
Some Sing, Some Cry a Novel, by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza, is a huge, sprawling family saga, spanning seven generations, from Emancipation to the present, from Ma Bette s banjo to digital music, and from the Carolina Sea Islands to New York, Paris, and Los Angeles Shange and Bayeza are sisters and they track a history of mothers and daughters from Reconstruction through the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, two world wars, race riots, and Some scenes are too brief and some characters [...]
I hate those allegorical beginnings of so many books by black authors But I suffered through this one and was richly rewarded, until I wasn t The first half to two thirds of this book is pretty good Interesting weave of characters through history and interesting backdrop of Charleston a city I don t know much about After the early nineteen hundreds, though, the book goes off the rails and becomes merely a survey of black music through the twentieth century Now whether this was due to two authors [...]
This was sometimes 2 stars and sometimes 4 stars I will settle on 3 This was a multi generational sweep of the Mayfield family from emancipation to civil rights I loved the story telling and all of the historical background There was a fair amount of research that went into this and I think the author blended it into the story nicely Some of this was so eloquently worded that I felt myself drawn to the writing I really liked that part.On the down side, I had a hard time with all the singing I kn [...]
This one was a book club pick, chosen by my friend s mom who found several copies of it at the dollar store Yep Well, turns out, this book was a good choice for me, because I was able to read it and pretend that these people were my relatives or at least like my relatives Treating it as a personal journey was interesting and much enriching than if I had just tried to slog my way through it Overall, I enjoyed the story, and the surprising similarities between this family and my own ancestry were [...]
from the first page it was obvious that music and women matter they drive the story they are the common thread that weaves together a patchwork quilt seven generations wide the mayfield woman each hear, feel, make, and interupt music differently they pass this along to their children in odd ways its the same chord manifesting itself in different people as society changes so does the tune i m sure the amount of research they did to make this historically accurate could fill up another 560 pages o [...]
I loved this book at first and I ultimately enjoyed it, but by the end of it I was tired of it and couldn t keep track of all the characters There were portions that moved almost too quickly and some portions that were too drawn out Several of the earliest characters lacked any kind of closure A case in point, after following Eudora s life for I don t know how many pages suddenly she s a minor character with a few mentions and then her death is just a mention 2 years after the fact At least Ma B [...]
If this book is intended to celebrate the great contributions that African Americans have made to American music, then it falls flat While the characters are well drawn, the story wanders around first in great detail and then in full sweeping time changes I found it very interesting to read a fictionalized perhaps based on true life story of the blacks who came from the plantations of South Carolina to make major contributions to the music scene in New York But, this book is hard to read The bla [...]
This book is too long It is so hard to review this book beyond that This is an historical fiction but it is written in heavy dialect and that makes it a little exhausting I did listen to this through my Audible subscription and I really enjoyed the speech and singing of the narrator, but even she can only carry this book so far It s just too long It follows several generations of a mulatto family, but I can t tell you the point or outcome of this book It s just too long and not interesting enoug [...]
Amazingly creatively written I m a huge Ntozake Shange fan, and this collaboration with her sister Ifa Bayeza is so lyrical and dreamy It s full of music I saw Ntozake and Ifa read chapters of this book with a live band playing the sounds of the cicadas, trains, city life It was awesome In general, I could just float around in Ntozake s stories They make me yearn for a life that probably doesn t exist and probably never has ose gentle, colorful, nostalgic, sista lovin , free spirited, lemonade o [...]
This epic tome covers 200 years and 7 generations of the fictitious Mayfield family, beginning with emancipation and ending in the late 1960 s All of the women are either musically gifted or spiritual, thus, Shange and Bayeza take us through the history of American music as viewed through the lives of these women The book would have been better for me had it been split into 2 volumes By the last third I felt as though the scenes were rushed to get all the pertinent milestones noted and I was ree [...]
The language of this book is as you would expect from Shange She wrote this book with her sister and as their characters live music so do they live language It covers a time span of epic proportions sometimes that compromises their character development summaries of what happens to them are interspersed among the text However, I really enjoyed this book but then I, too, believe in the universal language of music its inherent capacity to transcend race and religion and tragedy its human connectiv [...]
Just when you get into this book, it s all chop change and on to the next generation None of the stories follow through and you never quite get the satisfaction of progressing through on any single story line to the end But, it might not even matter, since each subsequent story is a tedious repetition of a previous one This is definitely one of those the daughter makes the same mistakes as the mother, and as the grandmother, and as the great grandmother.
Although a few things were too coincidental and others too predictable, I enjoyed this multigenerational tale about the fictional Mayfield family.
What a treat I enjoyed this book I enjoyed following this family through generations.Love, Strength, loyalty and tragedy is a part of all families I won this book from Good Reads Thank you
recommend this book.ry goodread