Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self This striking debut collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self offers rich slices of African-American life. In the bittersweet "Virgins," two 15-year-old Bronx girls… Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self This striking debut collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self offers rich slices of African-American life. In the bittersweet "Virgins," two 15-year-old Bronx girls… 2010-09-23 Short Stories Riverhead
Book Review

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (2010)

Danielle Evans | Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Sep 23, 2010; Writer: Danielle Evans; Genre: Short Stories; Publisher: Riverhead

This striking debut collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self offers rich slices of African-American life. In the bittersweet ''Virgins,'' two 15-year-old Bronx girls yearn to be more grown-up while preserving something of their innocence. In ''Snakes,'' a mixed-race Yale law student milks childhood encounters with her insensitive white grandmother (''It was the sort of thing that made a person interesting in college''). Even overly workshopped stories are bolstered by memorable images (of an ex-boyfriend's platinum blond
 fiancée: ''If her look was a smell, it would be grape bubble gum''). Evans' book, meanwhile, carries a strong scent of freshness and promise. B+

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Originally posted Sep 08, 2010 Published in issue #1120-1121 Sep 17, 2010 Order article reprints
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