trainingschool 6e6a6

Training School for Negro Girls
By Camille Acker
(The Feminist Press at CUNY)

With this impressive debut short story collection, author Camille Acker establishes herself as a gifted and agile writer with an assured and masterful voice. The collection is centered around the lives of ordinary residents of Washington, D.C., over the past several decades. From a young girl in the ’90s who is losing her older brother to forces that she doesn’t understand, to a motivational speaker’s spouse in the midst of a serious marriage crisis, Acker’s protagonists are modern African-American women and girls from a range of class backgrounds. Each one is finding her individual identity in her own way amid the complex historical social and racial strata of the nation’s capital.

Acker is a sensitive and skilled writer whose relatable slice-of-life fiction feels firmly grounded in reality. Her pacing and ear for dialogue are impeccable. Aside from one slyly satirical piece, the stories in this collection are earnest and direct, while narrated with intimacy and subtlety. Training School for Negro Girls is an exciting literary achievement by a significant emerging talent. This flawlessly executed work reinvigorates the short fiction genre. (5/5)

By Renate Robertson


Training School for Negro Girls was released October 9, 2018

This article originally appeared in the August/September print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

New Fall Issue d217c

More from BUST

Linda Kay Klein's "Pure" Shows The Lasting Consequences Of Growing Up In The White Evangelical Purity Movement

19 New Books By Women And Nonbinary Authors To Read In October 2018

Nicole Chung's "All You Can Ever Know" Is A Must-Read Memoir About Trans-Racial Adoption: Review

Support Feminist Media!
During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain
Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.