Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kinky Gazpacho



Okay, I didn't get through In Defense of Food. It was a two-week loan from the library and was on hold for someone else so I couldn't renew it. Luckily, I had put another book on hold at the library and as soon as I had to return In Defense of Food, it was ready to be picked up. The name of the book is Kinky Gazpacho.

It's a memoir by Lori Tharps, who was also the co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. The book got a little whiny at times as the author tried to reconcile the differences between the Spain of her imaginations and the real Spain especially as it related to the treatment, ideas and attitudes of Black people. But I was completely on-board as she struggled to figure out her identity as a Black person. She grew up in an area that was predominantly White and was never really confident in her Blackness especially when dealing with other Black people. As a first generation Nigerian born and raised in the states, that has been something I too have struggled with. If you speak English properly, enjoy reading and the Opera, well, then, you are not really Black. We know that's not true but I think it's something that many young, upwardly mobile, intelligent Black people face. What does it mean to be truly Black? Ms. Tharps story is inspirational in that she finds her own way to be authentically Black. I felt like she glossed over some things (like her children's birth and her practice of the Ba'hai faith) but these, I suppose, were not the focus of her book. She is, however, refreshingly honest about herself and her feelings/emotions in her page-turning memoir. I think it's that candor that makes you want to continue reading because there is nothing overly exciting going on in the book. It's her story. And it's just life. The ups. The downs. And the in-betweens.

This book was a nice, easy, lightweight coming-of-age story. Great summer reading.

3 comments:

I am the sum of my parts said...

This was a great review! I agree with you in that simply being candid in your writing often keeps people engaged. We are not so different from one another and find it refreshing when we can identify with other people walking this path called "Life."

nywele said...

oh wow! I have to check out that book. Thank you for the review and the sweet comments you left on my blog :)

RootsReading said...

Wow! Your review is really making want to go to the library and check this book out!

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