With On Girlhood, Edim has beautifully curated a canonical work centering around the voices of young Black characters as they contend with innocence, belonging, love, and self-discovery. From the timeless lessons in Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” (“this is how you smile to someone you like completely”) to those in Dana Johnson’s “Melvin in the Sixth Grade” (“this is how kids start fights”), these short stories illuminate the power and the precariousness of Black girlhood. Highlighting both iconic and lesser-known authors—Edwidge Danticat, Amina Gautier, Dorothy West, Paule Marshall, Shay Youngblood, and more—this is an indispensable compendium that will instill readers with “the nerve to walk [their] own way” (Zora Neale Hurston).
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