"Reading Nickole Brown’s new book of poems, Fanny Says, is like being introduced to someone you never want to let go, the kind of fierce, tender, acerbic, complicated woman who will snag you by your scruff and tell you what you don’t want to hear, and—in the next breath—what you need to hear," says a new Gwarlingo review. In these "searing, courageous" poems which are "part persona, part personal narrative . . . Brown writes a vivid portrait of a woman who never really learned to read or write— the two things to thumb through in Fanny’s house were the Bible and Cosmopolitan magazine. Fanny appears as the antithesis of the cardboard cutout of sweet grandma: she is a racist whose best friend is Bernie May, a black woman who cleans her house; her husband abuses her and yet you feel they love each other fiercely." According to the review, "there is a look-you-right-in-eye tone of these unself-censored poems," by which "Brown invokes Grace Paley: good writing is scrubbing all the lies out." "One morning I sat at my kitchen counter with Fanny Says, losing track of time and other demands," says reviewer Janlori Goldman. "I turned page after page until I came to the end, having chuckled out loud, teared up, felt my stomach in a roil, and eventually envy for Nickole Brown for having been raised, in part, by Fanny. It’s not the kind of love that is without condition, constraint or blind spots . . . but it is unwavering, full of edgy wit, and red-hot." Click here to for the full Gwarlingo review: "The Sunday Poem: Nickole Brown’s 'Fanny Says.'" Fanny Says is available now at the BOA Bookstore!
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