Notes from a Black Woman’s Diary: Selected Works of Kathleen Collins

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Although Kathleen Collins died from cancer over thirty years ago, her work lives on in this interesting collection of previously unpublished works, edited by her daughter, Nina Lorez Collins. Notes From a Black Woman’s Diary has a little bit of everything: short stories, novel excerpts, diary entries, letters, plays, and screenplays.

Though brief, the three stories that open the book offer a powerful look at the complexity of relationships; the love triangle in “Nina Simone” is the most fascinating. One of the book’s most memorable plays, “Remembrance,” tells of how a young mother searches for God in the privacy of her small apartment bathroom. Another one-act play, “The Reading,” explores the racial conflict between two women in the waiting room of a psychic’s office. The book closes with a reproduction of the original script for Losing Ground, a movie that Collins wrote and directed in the 1980s.

The beautifully articulated diary entries and letters are the shining stars in the book; these touchingly real glimpses into Collins’s heart and mind suggest that she herself may be more interesting than the fiction she wrote. Her writing is unflinchingly honest and perceptive, and the way that she describes the mundane is absolutely captivating. Her work is undeniably deserving of praise. Readers who enjoy this collection should also note Collins’s other collection of stories, titled Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? that was also published posthumously.

Reviewed By:

Author Kathleen Collins • Danielle Evans, Introduction
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2019-02-05
ISBN 9780062800954
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2019
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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