Good morning, and welcome to another opportunity to “spark” your Tuesday with Teaser Tuesdays, hosted by Should Be Reading.
Here’s how it works:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
Today I’m excerpting from Black Girl White Girl, by Joyce Carol Oates.
In 1975, racial tension still runs high at Genna Meade’s mostly white Schuyler College in Pennsylvania. Her outcast black roommate, Minette Swift, is a D.C. preacher’s daughter; Genna is descended from the college’s founder. Minette misses home desperately; Genna, in contrast, avoids her “hippie” mother’s phone calls while yearning for a visit from her absentee father, activist lawyer Maximilian Meade. Despite their differences, the girls muster an effortful friendship, due to the near-fetishization of black culture that Genna’s parents have inculcated in her. When racist incidents begin to plague Minette, Genna tries to protect her, but Minette lapses into an antisocial, dangerous depression. Meanwhile, Genna has her own problems—she’s gradually piecing together clues to a mystery whose solution may lie far too close to home for comfort. Eventually, Minette’s downward spiral prompts a shocking epiphany for Genna that will alter the course of her family’s life. Oates bravely grapples with the fallout of the Civil Rights movement, the early ’70s backlash against Summer of Love optimism, and the well-intentioned but ultimately condescending antiracist piety of privileged white liberals, but this anecdotal novel feels slight compared to her best work.
Teaser: Some mornings, when no one appeared, my roommate Minette Swift dragged herself from her creaking bed and dressed in the sallow occluded light of dawn reluctant to do anything more in the communal third floor bathroom than use the toilet. She could not shower any longer for someone had placed tiny slivers of broken glass inside the shower stall, knowing that Minette was about to use it. p. 191
I haven’t started this one yet, but it’s up next. I can’t wait to find out what this excerpt is all about. What are you teasing us with today?