Training School for Negro Girls
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY
“The lives of the girls and women featured in these stories are rendered with tremendous warmth, humor, and care . . . a wonderful debut.” —Jamel Brinkley, author of A Lucky Man
In her debut short story collection, Camille Acker unleashes the irony and tragic comedy of respectability onto a wide-ranging cast of characters, all of whom call Washington, DC, home. A “woke” millennial tries to fight gentrification, only to learn she’s part of the problem; a grade school teacher dreams of a better DC, only to take out her frustrations on her students; and a young piano player wins a competition, only to learn the prize is worthless.
Ultimately, they are confronted with the fact that respectability does not equal freedom. Instead, they must learn to trust their own conflicted judgment and fight to create their own sense of space and self.
“An exciting literary achievement by a significant emerging talent. This flawlessly executed work reinvigorates the short fiction genre.” —BUST
“Equal parts funny, poignant, stirring and heartbreaking . . . This book is our collective coming-of-age story—and it’s about time. The variety of characters and experiences makes Training School required reading for your favorite Black girl.” —Essence
“Acker navigates her characters’ lives with humor, heart, and grace. I loved these stories.” —Lisa Ko, award-winning author of The Leavers
“A timely, welcome book.” —The Millions
“It’s hard to believe this brilliant collection of stories is a debut, so beautifully does Camille Acker navigate difficult fictional terrain and complicated themes, including issues like gentrification, race, and ‘respectability’ politics.” —Nylon
Available since: 10/23/2018.
Print length: 232 pages.