We Jews and Blacks : Memoir with Poems
A central theme of this memoir by poet and translator Willis Barnstone is that of labels - names, ethnicities, all distinctions that cause suspicion, anger, and destruction. A fresh and significant contribution to American letters, "We Jews and Blacks" wrestles with problems of identity, difference, and the human condition. It is a dramatic, whimsical, and literary work that also contains a number of Barnstone's poems, which offer a second view of an event, a crystallization of his thinking, both sorrowful and joyful. The book includes a dialogue with Yusef Komunyakaa and a small selection of his poems.
- Paperback | 256 pages
- 142.2 x 223.5 x 12.7mm | 317.52g
- 01 Feb 2007
- Indiana University Press
- Bloomington, IN, United States
- New edition
- New edition
- 11 b&w photos
"A work of profound intelligence and utter humanity; it is intensely engaging, exquisitely playful, unabashedly erudite without a trace of pretension, and radiant with love for fellow creatures." Andrei Codrescu "A moving, and at times astonishing, memoir ... it sparkles and informs with intelligence and good intentions." Publishers Weekly
About Willis Barnstone
Willis Barnstone, distinguished poet and translator, is author of two other memoirs. He is perhaps best known for his translation of The Gnostic Bible. He lives in Oakland, California.Yusef Komunyakaa is distinguished senior poet at New York University. He has received numerous awards, including the William Faulkner Prize (Universite Rennes, France), the Ruth Lilly Prize for Poetry, and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His latest book is Gilgamesh, a verse play. He lives in New York City.
Table of contents
Verse 1 A Chat with the Reader; Verse 2 Jews and Blacks of Early Childhood; Verse 3 Jews and Blacks of Early Adolescence; Verse 4 Early Jewish Corruption and Bayard Rustin, the Black Nightingale; Verse 5 Jews and Blacks in College, and Freedom in Europe; Verse 6 Having Fun at Gunpoint in Crete; Verse 7 A Black and White Illumination; Verse 8 "Sound Out Your Race Loud and Clear"; Verse 9 Mumbling about Race and Religion in China, Nigeria, Tuscaloosa, and Buenos Aires; Verse 10 Saying a Hebrew Prayer at My Brother's Christian Funeral