The Friday 56 – Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted over at Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple and go something like this.

Friday 561.  Grab a book, any book.
2.  Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
3.  Find any sentence, (or a few, just don’t spoil it)
4.  Post it.
5.  Add the post url, not your blog url to the Linky.
6. Tweet it #Friday56 (not an official Freda’s Voice rule)

I received Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah from Netgalley as an eARC. It’s a collection of short stories and this excerpt is from the story “Friday Black”.

Part of me wanted save this excerpt for Black Friday (which is the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S.). I have so much to say about this story after reading it. Maybe a mini review is in order.🤔

It isn’t always like this. This is the Black Weekend. Other times, if somebody dies, at least a clean-up crew comes with a tarp. Last year, the Friday Black took 129 people. “Black Friday is a special case, we are still a hub of customer care and interpersonal cohesiveness,” mall management said in a mall-wide memo. As if caring about people is something you can turn on and off.

At five in the morning, the lull comes. The first wave of shoppers is home, or sleeping, or dead in various corners of the mall.

Our store has three bodies in the bodies section. The first came an hour in. A woman climbed the denim wall looking for a second pair her size. She was screaming and rocking the wooden cubby wall so hard that the whole thing almost fell on Duo and everybody in his section. Duo poked her off the wall with his reach. She fell on her neck. Another woman snatched the SkinnyStetches from her dead hands.

Kindle Location 56: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

add to goodreads[5]

Goodreads Summary

A piercingly raw début story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America.

From the start of this extraordinary début, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

8 thoughts on “The Friday 56 – Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

    • The Broken Spine October 19, 2018 / 5:33 pm

      For me too. It’s his debut, so hopefully we’ll hear more from him as time goes on.


    • The Broken Spine October 19, 2018 / 5:34 pm

      Laugh and moan. I’ve heard good things about Soul of America. Hope you enjoy.


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