Fri­day Black

The Week (US) - - 22 - By Nana Kwame Ad­jei-Brenyah Tommy Orange Sam Sacks

(Mariner, $15)

The ar­rival of this re­mark­able short­story col­lec­tion “an­nounces a new and nec­es­sary Amer­i­can voice,” said

in The New York Times. Nana Kwame Ad­jei-Brenyah’s de­but, “as full of vi­o­lence as it is of heart,” ex­ag­ger­ates cur­rent re­al­i­ties “only ever so slightly,” and al­ways to help us see the truth more clearly. In his ti­tle story, Amer­i­can post–Thanks­giv­ing Day sales so rou­tinely re­sult in deaths at the mall that clear­ing corpses is just part of the job. In “The Finkel­stein 5,” a white man claims self-de­fense—suc­cess­fully—af­ter de­cap­i­tat­ing five black chil­dren with a chain saw. In “The Era,” a teenager can’t get enough of a so­cially sanc­tioned drug called Good. No reader of Ge­orge Saun­ders could be sur­prised that Saun­ders men­tored Ad­jei-Brenyah, said in The Wall Street Jour­nal. The best story here, set in an amuse­ment park where vis­i­tors can shoot at black and Mus­lim ac­tors, is par­tic­u­larly in­debted to Saun­ders’ “queasily comic” fu­tur­ist satires. Fri­day Black is an aus­pi­cious start. “But the real fun will come in watch­ing the stu­dent’s at­tempt to es­cape the shadow of—or even sur­pass—the mas­ter.”

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