About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Break Any Woman Down
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition
About this title
In Break Any Woman Down, Dana Johnson explores race, identity, and alienation with unflinching honesty and vibrant language. Hip and seductive, her stories often feature women discovering their identities through sexual and emotional intimacy with the men in their lives.
In the title story, La Donna is a black stripper whose white boyfriend, an actor in adult movies, insists that she stop stripping. In "Melvin in the Sixth Grade," eleven-year-old Avery has a crush on a white boy from Oklahoma who, like Avery, is an outsider in their suburban Los Angeles school. "Markers" is as much about a woman's relationship with her mother as it is about the dissolution of her relationship with an older Italian man.
Dana Johnson has an intuitive sense of character and a gift for creating authentic voices. She effortlessly captures the rhythmic vernaculars of Los Angeles, the American South, and various immigrant communities as she brings to life the sometimes heavyhearted, but always persevering, souls who live there.From the Back Cover:
“You can hear Johnson’s voices ringing long after you put the stories down: No character could stay a stranger long in this writer’s hands.” —Los Angeles Times
“Deftly achieves both art and amusement. Johnson’s ability to coax the heart as much as the mind . . . marks the author as a storyteller at her most potent.” —Seattle Weekly
“A . . . sometimes comical read . . . Johnson’s stories are ultimately bound by a desire to find a place . . . to fit in”—USA Today
“Sharp edged . . . contemporary”—Booklist
“This is an exciting and gorgeous literary debut.” —Jonathan Ames, author of The Extra Man
“Whether it’s an awkward sixth grader with a crush, a pair of brazen Iranian sisters, or a male porno star who bakes a mean ziti, Dana Johnson’s characters breathe authenticity. Johnson has got range and she’s got depth. A remarkable new voice has emerged.”–Dalton Conley, author of Honky
“Rich, unhurried layering showcases [Johnson’s] larger themes. . . Both hip and elegant, these assured stories . . . simmer and resonate.”–Publishers Weekly
“Johnson renders with authenticity a range of ages, nationalities, and perspectives with a verve that leaves the reader wanting more.”–Janet McDonald, author of Project Girl
“These stories are full of the small details and disappointments of life, the missed opportunities and the inopportune moments that change one’s trajectory.”–Library Journal
“Johnson’s narrators are sympathetic and engaging. . . A subtle and sometimes compelling vision of Los Angeleno life.”–Kirkus Reviews
“Dana Johnson’s collection of stories contains so many wonderful women. Living, breathing, making a million mistakes, but you understand every one of them. Sometimes you think your heart will burst, but the pain is illustrated with depth, clarity and beauty.”–Victor LaValle, author of The Ecstatic
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