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Kathleen Collins’ Posthumous Collection Is A Necessary Read

by BUST Magazine

 

Notes From a Black Woman’s Diary: Selected Works of Kathleen Collins
By Kathleen Collins
(Ecco)     

Relatively unknown during her life, Kathleen Collins (1942-1988) is a writer whose work was first made available in 2016 with the posthumous publication of her short-story collection, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? Her second book, Notes from a Black Woman’s Diary, is a timely follow-up for readers already acquainted with Collins, and a brilliant introduction for new readers. These selected works, affectionately edited by her daughter, Nina Lorez Collins, defy genres, putting Collins’ dedication to writing on full display as she moves effortlessly between subjects and styles.

Examining race, gender, love, and motherhood, Collins’ diary entries are the most revealing selections, especially when she grapples with her past in ways that one could only do on a page not intended for others’ eyes. Notes from a Black Woman’s Diary is a necessary addition to the literary canon because it expands the narrative of Black female experience at a time of racial tension. Readers will marvel at Collins’ complexity and mourn her premature death at 46 from breast cancer. That loss will always feel like it came too soon. (4/5)

By Bry’onna Mention

Notes From A Black Woman’s Diary was released February 5, 2019. This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

More from BUST

Read This Book: ‘Whatever Happened To Interracial Love?’ By Kathleen Collins

In “Elsewhere, Home,” Characters Grapple With Homesickness, Love, And Assimilation

Emily Bernard’s “Black Is The Body” Is A Stunning Familial Portrait

 

 

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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