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On December 9, 1995, Toni Cade Bambara died at the age of fifty-six, a profound loss to American culture. In its obituary the New York Times called her "a major contributor to the emerging genre of black women's literature, along with the writers Toni Morrison and Alice Walker." The author of many acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, among them three pioneering and timeless volumes: Gorilla, My Love and The Seabirds Are Still Alive, both collections of stories, and The Salt Eaters, a novel, Bambara had not published a new book in the fourteen years prior to her death. She developed during that time a keen interest in film - as a scriptwriter, filmmaker, critic, and teacher - and collaborated on several television documentaries, including The Bombing of Osage Avenue, about the police assault on the MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia, and on the W. E. B. Du Bois Film Project. Bambara also helped to launch the careers of many other black women filmmakers. Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions is a brilliant distillation of Bambara's original sensibility and a confirmation of her status as one of America's great post-World War II writers. Here is a rich selection of her writings, many of which have never before appeared in print: stories ("Madame Bai and the Taking of Stone Mountain, " "Ice, " "Luther on Sweet Auburn"), essays ("Language and the Writer, " "The Education of a Storyteller), film criticism ("School Daze"), and a revealing interview.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780679774075
ISBN-10: 0679774076
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Random House Inc
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Publish Date: 10-Jun-1999
Country of Publication: United States


US Kirkus Review » A resonant posthumous collection of pieces - most of which have never before appeared in print - from a distinguished black woman writer. Bambara, author of the critically acclaimed short-story collection Gorilla, My Love (not reviewed) and the novel The Salteaters (1980), died last year from cancer at the age of 56. This collection includes six short stories and several essays, as well as an interview with Bambara, conducted by her friend Louis Massiah. The latter, titled "How She Came By Her Name," is a wonderful exploration of Bambara's personal history, identity, and values, as well as her thoughts about her four most profound commitments: community activism, writing, motherhood, and film. Several essays discuss the history of black independent film and its importance to black cultural autonomy and expression; in the 1980s she came to prefer film over fiction and spent much of her time writing scripts, as well as editing, analyzing, and teaching film. She is also profoundly moving on the subject of her Harlem girlhood; she refers repeatedly to her memories of the neighborhood's legendary Speaker's Comer in the 1930s as a model for community discourse - and celebrates as well Harlem's bookstores, movie houses, and libraries. Sometimes these pieces tend toward the pedantic or polemical, becoming labored in a way that her fiction never is. Indeed, the fiction here is masterful - alive with powerful women, animated by rage at racial injustice, narrated in a compressed, powerful prose that is rich, varied, but always precise. In the preface to this collection, Toni Morrison, Bambara's longtime editor and friend, writes that "I don't know if she knew the heart cling of her fiction." Whether she did or not, with the release of Deep Sightings, many readers will. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Toni Cade Bambara

On December 9, 1995, Toni Cade Bambara died of cancer at the age of 56. In its obituary of her, "The New York Times" called Bambara, "a major contributor to the emerging genre of black women's literature."

Books By Author Toni Cade Bambara

Black Woman by Toni Cade Bambara

The Black Woman

Paperback, February 2005
Those Bones are Not My Child by Toni Cade Bambara

Those Bones are Not My Child

Paperback, January 2002
Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara

The Salt Eaters

Paperback, January 1998
Daughters of the Dust by Toni Cade Bambara

Daughters of the Dust

Paperback, January 1994