Well-Read Black Girl

Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
Narrated by: Glory Edim
Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (230 ratings)

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'Well-Read Black Girl' author Glory Edim discusses the power of this timely anthology.

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Publisher's Summary

An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives - but not everyone regularly sees themselves on the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all - regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability - have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.

Contributors include Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and Barbara Smith (Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology).

Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club-turned-Online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all fans who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.

Includes a bonus PDF of the Well-Read Black Girl book recommendations.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Glory Edim (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Yes, Well-Read Black Girl is as good as it sounds.... The recipient of the 2017 L.A. Times Innovator’s Award for her book club turned festival gathers an all-star cast of contributors - among them Lynn Nottage, Jesmyn Ward, and Gabourey Sidibe - to pay tribute to literature by, for, and about Black women.” (O: The Oprah Magazine)    

 
“These essays build the altars for black women to recognize and support each other’s work, not as collectibles rendered visible or easily consumed by non-black audiences, but as an acknowledgment of black women as architects of their own futures and universes.... Each essay can be read as a dispatch from the vast and wonderfully complex location that is black girlhood and womanhood.... They present literary encounters that may at times seem private and ordinary - hours spent in the children’s section of a public library or in a college classroom - but are no less monumental in their impact.” (The Washington Post

“A wonderful collection of essays.” (Essence)

“Glory Edim has curated a brilliant collection of essential American reading for the twenty-first-century reader. This book is smart, powerful, and complete.” (Min Jin Lee, author of the National Book Award finalist Pachinko and Free Food for Millionaires

Editorial Review

As a fiction fan, I love books about books! Well-Read Black Girl is a collection of essays written by some of today’s most exciting black women writers about their first experience seeing themselves represented in literature—and the life-changing power of those early encounters. Yes, these are essays, but don’t let that scare you—there’s not a dry sentence in the bunch. If, like me, you’re always up for new recommendations, this collection will have you excitedly filling up your wish list. —Tricia F., Audible Editor

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I wish I had...

I wish I had this when I was younger. My sister and I were the first to go to college in our family. That was in 1996. Before then, my parents always pushed the importance of education. We studied hard in a system that made it difficult to acknowledge the needs of a well-read Black girl. I knew about Alice Walker because of the movie, The Color Purple and Toni Morrison because of Oprah. But it wasn't until I took an African American Literature class in college did I really get to know these authors and many, many more. I remember going home ( Philly area) my freshman year and visiting my sister at a Black owned book store called Ligorious Books in Cheltenham Mall and browsing the Sci Fi/Fantasy section and staring at these books by Octavia Butler...I had read Kindred from my class but what were these other treasures? I took a chance and read one which became two which became....damn near all. I couldn't believe it! Why was she and the other greats not a part of required reading? I felt...cheated. So now, I dedicate as much time as my crazy life allows to reading and seeing myself in the stories of long lost friends, Aunties, Uncles and others in books by Black women ( and diverse cultures) writers. I enjoyed this title and hope to find my own inner writer...

25 people found this helpful

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Not Suited For Audio

The anthology is great.
The content is great.
The recording is not.
It was challenging if not impossible to distinguish between essays and authors and separate thoughts. It would have been easier to listen with different narrators — even alternating ones.

10 people found this helpful

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  • TJ
  • 01-01-19

Great stories that everyone will enjoy.

Insightful, inspiring, smart, authentic stories. I appreciate listening to them all. Buying the book too!

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great resources but....

The performance was sort of monotone. It was hard to stay interested. Hard to follow.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, awful narrator.

Loved the passages, and excerpts absolutely hated the narrator, her narration came across as choppy and forced, it was distracting. I’m going to purchase the hard copy.

2 people found this helpful

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They why behind your desire.

A platform to learn about other writers and why they started writing. A good read.

1 person found this helpful

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great !

definitely a good compilation of stories worth the read... also a great way to think about looking into other new books and short stories

1 person found this helpful

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Aspirational

I started reading this book at the start of my 35 year old "Refresh and Renew" Journey. Lol. I wanted to increase my reading, and was over the typical self-help, "you go girl!" books. I chose this book in hopes that it would give me ideas on some great books to read. & it did that, just not in the way I expected. The chapters are more so mini memoirs of the different creatives discussing various literary works. Most books are the Staples we're all aware of, titles that are on everyone's read or must read lists. So i didn't get much insight in that sense.

However, hearing the stories of the women sharing their connections to each book did encourage me to want to read more of THEIR work.

So, all in all I think this book did a great job integrating the stories of up and coming creatives to the classic authors, playwrights, poets, and amazing minds we all know and love.

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soothing

listened to during quarantine and everything stood still for a couple of moments while reading this.

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Interesting

I probably should have read the book instead of listening to it because it read like a thesis. I wouldn't have recommended just one reader. Maybe a series of readers bringing different voices would have made it more effective. We read it for our book club and it generated good discussions.