Friday Black (Paperback)
  • Friday Black (Paperback)
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Friday Black (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 208 Pages
Published: 27/06/2019
  • 5+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Weaving dystopian allegories around issues of race and oppression, Adjei-Brenyah’s miniatures pop with energy and barely concealed rage. 

Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2019

Racism, but "managed" through virtual reality

Black Friday, except you die in a bargain-crazed throng

Happiness, but pharmacological

Love, despite everything.

Friday Black tackles urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explores the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In the first, unforgettable story of this collection, The Finkelstein Five, Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unstinting reckoning of the brutal prejudice of the US 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.

Fresh, exciting, vital and contemporary, Friday Black will appeal to people who love Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, the TV show Black Mirror, the work of Kurt Vonnegut and George Saunders, and anyone looking for stories that speak to the world we live in now.

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
ISBN: 9781787476004
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 190 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

An unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice . . . A dystopian story collection as full of violence as it is of heart. To achieve such an honest pairing of gore with tenderness is no small feat . . . Violence is only gratuitous when it serves no purpose, and throughout Friday Black we are aware that the violence is crucially related to both what is happening in America now, and what happened in its bloody and brutal history . . . In smart, terse prose, Adjei-Brenyah is unflinching, and willing, in most of these 12 stories, to leave us without any apparent hope. But the hope is there or if it isn't hope, it's maybe something better: levelheaded, compassionate protagonists, with just enough integrity and ambivalence that they never feel sentimental. Each of these individuals carries a subtle clarity about what matters most when nothing makes sense in these strange and brutal worlds he builds . . . Adjei-Brenyah's voice here is as powerful and original as Saunders's is throughout Tenth of December . . . [Adjei-Brenyah] is here to signal a warning, or perhaps just to say this is what it feels like, in stories that move and breathe and explode on the page. In Friday Black, the dystopian future Adjei-Brenyah depicts - like all great dystopian fiction - is bleakly futuristic only on its surface. At its center, each story - sharp as a knife - points to right now. - New York Times

This pitch-dark, brutal, occasionally - mercifully! - funny collection of stories takes on the insidious nature of racism and the horrors of capitalism in equal measure and somehow ends up hopeful on the other side. Friday Black is enraging, it's inventive . . . Much like living through this year, the experience of reading Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut can be harrowing, but it's ultimately a pleasure to be in the company of a new voice as exciting as this. - Vogue

Reading Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut short story collection Friday Black is like being shaken awake. These stories exist in a sort of hyperreality, ordinary characters living in the not-so-unbelievable, Black Mirror-esque future of a culture that doesn't hesitate to commodify cruelty or monetize revolution . . . Adjei-Brenyah skewers the ways we brush past racism and injustice, making the absurdity of the rhetoric around both impossible to ignore. - Buzzfeed

Yes, anyone who likes Saunders should read Friday Black right away. Anyone who could take or leave Saunders should, too...No comparison can convey a book's intellectual heft, and Friday Black is as intellectually hefty as fiction can get. In these twelve stories, Adjei-Brenyah turns over ideas about racism, about classism and capitalism, about the apocalypse, and, most of all, about the corrosive power of belief. His work is fiercely, spikily funny. And no matter how supernatural his stories get, no matter how zombie-ish or futuristic, every one of them takes place in the world we know...Adjei-Brenyah has some serious powers himself. The energy in his fiction is wild, barely controllable yet perfectly controlled. Short stories, as a form, tend to compress big emotion into small action, but not these. Adjei-Brenyah fits big emotion, big action, and big thought into each story. His violence is never gratuitous, his ghosts never too chain-rattling to believe...Adjei-Brenyah speaks in more voices than seems possible, and those voices will follow you off the page...They will assert themselves, over and over. I'm here, these stories say. Sit up. Pay attention. I'm here. - NPR

Like Kurt Vonnegut, the debut author introduces readers to worlds adjacent to our reality. They're familiar enough for us to recognize ourselves within them - until Adjei-Brenyah takes the tough-to-stomach parts of humanity to extremes, like Black Friday shoppers turning into violent, materialistic murderers. The stories wrestle with racism, mob mentality, police violence, and unrestrained consumerism. They're quick to read, and incredibly hard to forget. - Elle "Best Books of the Year so Far"

Imagine a cross between Get Out and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and you'll have a sense of what awaits readers of this audacious debut: darkly absurdist tales that take the horrors of racism to surreal new levels. - O, the Oprah Magazine

Adjei-Brenyah dissects the dehumanizing effects of capitalism and racism in this debut collection of stingingly satirical stories... Adjei-Brenyah has put readers on notice: his remarkable range, ingenious premises, and unflagging, momentous voice make this a first-rate collection. - Publishers' Weekly (Starred Review)

An absolutely unmissable debut - Stylist

Friday Black has the thrilling strangeness of George Saunders but driven by a deep and justified anger about the racism and violence that constitute the bedrock of American society. It's a rollercoaster ride - Mark Haddon, Observer

A spiky stand-out new voice among young American writers ... funny, satirical, Friday Black was Big Issue's 2019 Book of the Year. - Big Issue

Dark and mind-bending . . . inventive and stirring . . . topical and devastating. - Observer

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Catriona at Waterstones Head Office

“Wild, mesmeric, imaginative short tales”

This is one of my, if not my absolute, favourite of the year.
The tales are wild and otherworldly as well as rousing and poignant. i'm not usually a fan of short stories but i inhaled these!
I've discovered... More

“Sublime, Gritty Masterpiece”

Honestly one of the best things I've read this year. This collection of short stories is rich, authentic, necessary and comes with a bite. The stories are a bit Black Mirror, set in a dystopian or unpleasant... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 19

“A powerful collection of short stories...”

A powerful and hard hitting collection of short stories that I haven't been able to stop thinking about since finishing the book this afternoon.

Adjei-Brenyah's writing is sharp and shocking - he holds a... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 19

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