A Taste of Honey: Stories

A Taste of Honey Stories Poignant and powerful this debut collection from preeminent writer and critic Jabari Asim heralds his arrival as an exciting new voice in African American fiction ____________________________________

  • Title: A Taste of Honey: Stories
  • Author: Jabari Asim
  • ISBN: 9780767919784
  • Page: 263
  • Format: Paperback
  • Poignant and powerful, this debut collection from preeminent writer and critic Jabari Asim heralds his arrival as an exciting new voice in African American fiction._________________________________________________ Through a series of fictional episodes set against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent years in modern history, Asim brings into pin sharp focus how the tuPoignant and powerful, this debut collection from preeminent writer and critic Jabari Asim heralds his arrival as an exciting new voice in African American fiction._________________________________________________ Through a series of fictional episodes set against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent years in modern history, Asim brings into pin sharp focus how the tumultuous events of 68 affected real people s lives and shaped the country we live in today The sixteen connected stories in this exciting debut are set in the fictional Midwestern town of Gateway City, where second generation off spring of the Great Migrators have pieced together a thriving, if fragile existence With police brutality on the rise, the civil rights movement gaining momentum, and wars raging at home and abroad, Asim has conjured a community that stands on edge But it is the individual struggles with love, childrearing, adolescence, etc, lyrically chronicled here, that create a piercing portrait of humanity In I d Rather Go Blind and Zombies, young Crispus Jones, who while sensitive to the tremors of upheaval around him is still much concerned with his crush on neighbor Polly and if he s ever going to be as cool as his brother When Ray Mortimer, a white cop, kills the owner of his favorite candy store, Crispus becomes aware of malice even scary than zombies and the ghost that he thinks may be haunting his house In The Wheat from the Tares and A Virtuous Woman, Rose Whittier deals with her abusive husband with a desperate resignation until his past catches up with him and she s given a second chance at love And Gabriel, her suitor, realizes that his whole hearted commitment to The Struggle may have to give way for his own shot at romance And in Ashes to Ashes we see how a single act of despicable violence in their childhoods cements a lasting connection between two unlikely friends From Crispus tender innocence to Ray Mortimer s near pure evil, to Rose s quiet determination, the characters in this book and their journeys showcase a world that is brimming with grace and meaning and showcases the talents of a writer at the top of his game.

    725 Comment

    • Elizabeth says:

      I was expecting a series of short stories with no connection and about completely different topics. What I found was a fantastically written book then weaves the lives of so many people together that I was dizzy trying to keep it straight but what fun I had trying. This touching, insightful, thoughtful, descriptive book had me running down back alleys, rooting for true love and cheering when the horribly racist cop finally gets his doo-wop whooped. While each chapter was a story unto itself, the [...]

    • Bernard James says:

      This past week I became a member of the fictional town of Gateway (located in one of the central Midwestern States "I think") during the Spring of 1968. A good book will do that for you: transport you to a time and place where reality is transcended by the strength of your imagination. But in order to pull it off, a writer has to deliver characters with such depth and power that they leap off the page to intrude upon your thoughts long after the book has been set aside. Jabari Asim does exactly [...]

    • JaVone Bentley says:

      Absolutely spellbinding I even beginREAD THIS BOOK. I highly recommend it. This is a set of interwoven stories in which everyone is searching (whether consciously or unconsciously) for that beacon of hope. The characters (and there are a lot of them) were amazing! The stories and the prose were well written and very captivating. I could not put this one down and when I did finish I was overwhelmed with joy. I mean I was smiling from ear to ear after reading this. Asim used humor, sincerity, and [...]

    • Blue says:

      ter finishing this collection of short stories, I have definitely tasted pure honey. A Taste of Honey. JABARI ASIM is truly awsome. Characters like Crisp and Shom are delightful. Chip and Shom have African American historical names. How long has it been since I've heard any one mention Crispus Attucks? He gave his life during the American Revolution massacre. Shom's name is an historial name too. It's not just the recall of American History in the stories. There is also the moments of emotional [...]

    • Johanna Perry says:

      I love this book so far. A lot of times you can predict where a book is going. Not that this book is suspenseful, just that I don't know where the author will go next and haven't felt that in reading in a long time. Kind of an uncomfortable feeling, but in the best of ways. Good starting back up with your reading regimen book.Tried hard to stretch this one out lest I couldn't find a good follow-up (suggestions welcome). Very sweet and encouraging. Just wonder if it was too encouraging. This book [...]

    • Toni says:

      A novel told in the form of connected short stories about an African-American community on the verge of change in the late '60's. The Jones' family is the main focus: Reuben, the artistic father, Pristine, the mother who holds it all together, Schomburg, the oldest son who is flirting with the new radical Black nationalist movement, and Crispus, the youngest son who features prominently in most of the stories.WHAT I LIKED:The writing is beautiful and captures accurately the voices, actions, and [...]

    • Diana says:

      "The Lord loves a cheerful giver, but I guess I'm just not in the mood." -Aunt GeorgiaI'm sorry, but this book is absolutely amazing. I could NOT put it down. I laughed, I commiserated, I clucked my tongue, I snapped my fingers, and I just enjoyed the sheer pleasure of reading this book. It's painful to read at times, and then it'll have you laughing out loud at other times. I related to these characters and felt a sense of enlightenment and sadness for my people. I don't know, it was just nice [...]

    • Vicki says:

      I loved the compact elegance of this book -- the characters are so vividly drawn, and things come together in a way that tells you about the whole of that place and time. Which is pretty wild, for such a slim book. You learn a lot through Asim's skill at putting things together in a powerful way. One of the things that struck me most about reading this was the memory of how scary youth can be. When you're a child, you're powerless in a lot of ways. I think that's why I liked the child characters [...]

    • Angela says:

      This has to be one of my favorite books from the Go On Girl Book list. The setting invoked memories from my childhood, although I was just born around the time frame of the book. It reminded me of some of my neighbors on my block. I fell in love with the characters. This was a great book. I am glad I purchased it on the Kindle. I don't have to share it with others and worry about what condition my book will come back in. This is definitely a keeper and one I would read again. I generally do not [...]

    • Frank says:

      This collection of linked stories is probably closer to a novel; few of the stories could stand alone. It reminds me of Ntozake Shange's Betsey Brown in the looseness of its construction and in its intense focus on a very particular St. Louis neighborhood. Though Asim calls it Gateway City, most of the street names and landmarks are given their real names. The book is set almost exclusively in an area of about ten square blocks around Vandeventer Avenue just south of Fairground Park, and it feat [...]

    • warren Cassell says:

      This work was a selection of my book club and I probably would not have read it on my own. Fortunately, book clubs lead one to new ways and this was a lovely discovery. “Taste of Honey” is supposedly a collection of sixteen connected short stories, but stands on its own as a fully developed novel. Set in fictitious Gateway City (St. Louis) on the Mississippi River during the sixties, it covers a few months in the lives of a middle class black family living in a segregated section of town. Th [...]

    • Beverly says:

      I so enjoyed this connected collection of short stories - it really read like a novel. Once I started reading I could not put down and wondered what took me so look to pick up this book. Takes place in a small to mid-sized town in the midwest right before MLK is killed. Great character voices, community and family oriented storyline, used the background of the story to inform us about the political issues of the time. I would love to see these characters again. I surely hope Asim writes more fic [...]

    • Mocha Girl says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed it: the characters, the neighborhood, the storytelling -- and especially the interweaving/inter-relationships of the characters and plotlines -- very well-done in all areas. It read more like a novel than short stories and I kinda hated to see it end. I hope he revisits the story to keep us updated on Crispus, Ed, and their families, friends, and neighbors.

    • Kirsten says:

      Less of a short story collection than a loosely connected novel. I was immediately invested in the inhabitants of these stories, rooting for them in their trials and celebrating every good turn. I'm going to miss them.

    • Sj says:

      LOVED this book. The interwoven stories brought all the characters to life. "The Boy on the Couch" made me holler, and "A Taste of Honey" just tied it all together in such a humorous way. Easy to follow along, the writing was crisp and funny. Made for a great story. Definitely one I'd recommend.

    • Katrina says:

      This was a wonderful book! I loved all of the historical references, the strong family community and reading this story put a smile on my face. I loved how all the stories fit together so perfectly that it did not feel like a series of short stories it just felt like one great story.

    • Vonetta says:

      Great book, but quite troubling at times, so I couldn't finish it since I was looking for a lighter literary read. The language flows easily and the characters are easily imagined. I think I'll come back to it eventually.

    • Nadine Brown says:

      Enjoyable quick read. Loved the story plot and character names. There was a nice flow and rhythm to story even with telling end and then back story. Expect to read more from Mr. Asim.

    • Cara says:

      Truly one of the best books I have read all year.

    • Jai Danielle says:

      4.5Great book of interconnected stories.

    • Amy says:

      Maybe 3.5 stars. Overall I really liked it, but the fact that the author switched back and forth between first and third person was jarring and took me out of the world of the book when it happened. In general, it's just a pet peeve of mine when writers do that unless there is clearly a compelling or absolutely unavoidable reason for it.

    • Donna says:

      I would say 3.5 really. I liked this book but it was misleading to call it short stories. I am not sure any one of them would really be a satisfying stand alone story. Maybe the author was reluctant to deem it a novel. Perhaps too light to qualify as such when submitting to a publisher. It was a telling look at a turbulent time. I would like to read more from the author.

    • Martha says:

      Only a story with roots this deep could be transcendent. Absolutely incredible, every word.

    • Amanda says:

      A Taste of Honey was one of those reading experiences I went into with little to no expectations of, and emerged with that satisfying feeling of having loved what I just read. Although I've read my fair share of short story collections, I can't say that I can recall reading one that was executed so seamlessly and effortlessly to come across as a novel. I was so impressed with Asim's ability to render his characters to his readership in snapshots that over the course of the entire text felt like [...]

    • Amanda Morgan says:

      Touted as a series of short stories, reading this novel as a whole has a much more powerful impact. “A Taste of Honey” is set in a racially divided, imaginary midwestern town, in an African American neighborhood. Some people are happy with what they’ve got, yet most yearn for a better life. It’s the summer of 1967, and racial tensions are rising. A rash of violence starting with a white policemen beating to death a beloved, blind African-American candy store owner sets this normally quie [...]

    • Nakia says:

      Because the author of Booktini's selected April book (Raised by the Mistress) failed to send our copies on time, we had to quickly choose a short book to read in the two week span before our April meeting. Jabari Asim's collection of short stories centered around a fictional community in the midwest was perfect length-wise. I don't think this was the perfect book for a book discussion, though.Don't get me wrong. Asim is a great writer, with a fantastic imagination and a knack for storytelling, e [...]

    • Brandee says:

      This book was pretty good. Asim has a writing style that is both easy to read and literary, which I can really appreciate. His gift for character-making is strong: his descriptions of their appearances, mannerisms, pasts, all work to make each one so believable, and I really liked the diversity represented by the people in these stories. With the racism of the time period in this setting, some stories were hard to readolence, harassment, deference. My favorites were the more domestic ones,like " [...]

    • Chanel says:

      This collection of short stories is a real gem. I loved how the same characters were threaded throughout each story. It was like one of those really good ensemble movies, where you actually care about each storyline. I really enjoyed Crispus, one of the main characters. Seeing an evolving but still corrupt and dangerous world through the eyes of a young boy, who just wants to be cool like his older brothers and find true love, was refreshing and kept the book moving forward. The author, Jabari A [...]

    • J says:

      There is nothing particularly magical about Asims's prose, but his straight forward telling is reminiscent of a memoir, making the people and stories feel authentic and real. Reminiscent of Diaz, Danticat or even Joyce in his handling of a small circle of people, Asim is different in that you come away from reading about a variety of serious issues feeling full of hope for the characters. As a community, they come through their trials, burnished and strong, full of faith and plans for the future [...]

    • Andrea says:

      I'm a huge fan of short stories that relate so I was thrilled to find this book by an author unknown to be. The characters are written so well then come to life and fill the pages and the reader can feel a little bit of what they must have felt during such a chaotic time in history. Some of the stories were giving me a hard time, I just felt like they jumped around and made me lost for a paragraph or two. This could be my fault though and something that a second reading would prove valuable. Asi [...]

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