by Renee Bess
The short stories in this collection invite you to walk alongside characters in the midst of their journeys. Meet the Black high school student who dares to take a glimpse of her future-self while she sits at the mercy of the straightening comb in the beauty parlor. Observe the newly-degreed journalism major who travels alone to 1920’s Paris in search of truths and secrets. Tread gently beside the woman who struggles to cope with her lover’s departure. Indulge the faithless entrepreneur who’s convinced she’ll be betrayed. Listen to the woman whose bitter memories bring her clarity as well as rewards among the folds of forgiveness. Join two friends who bump into America’s original sin during their visit to a women’s bar. And smile along with the proud older woman who is determined to cast her vote in honor of her forebearer’s legacy.
Some of the poems in this book are personal. Others are political. Each poem traveled a path from the author’s heart straight to her pen. Each poem breathes with each reader’s breath. Each poem says whatever it says to whomever reads it.
The creative non-fiction pieces are born of the necessity to think during the last four years of our nation’s constant stress and socio-political chaos. May these essays inspire the reader to ask questions and seek answers.