In a recent NewPages review, Benjamin Champagne dives head first into Nickole Brown's Fanny Says, finding laughs, darkness, and depth that only poignant family memories can provide. "[Fanny Says] is a dense work of poems," says the review, "functioning as a memoir and a history lesson by way of the comedian. Brown is always tender but does not shy from exposing faults and social problems. Her ability to record and recreate the things her grandmother said is a prowess far beyond her. The reader is so immersed in Fanny it is as if we know her. Getting to know Fanny is like examining America, first the shoes, then the belt, and finally the hair-do." The review continues: "Fanny is treated like a curse word turned beautiful. She is examined and turned over thoroughly . . . This is a commentary on the South as a whole. As Fanny sits espousing the wonder of Crisco and Pepsi and telling tale after tale of how she got over on a man who was getting over on her, the reader enters the mind of controlled deviance. This is what society accepts and yet it is all off. It is wrong somehow. When Fanny ventures into racism, that gut feeling rises above. The reader becomes aware of the inherent backwards position of a life lived merely in tradition." "Fanny Says remains a tender character study above all else. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a film adapted from this. It endures sentiment and challenges social notions. It is true to humanity and breathed with life." Have your own sassy, bawdy, tough-as-new-rope grandmother? Someone as unrelenting as Fanny that you don't want to forget? If so, share your grandmother's story on "The Bingo Hall" at www.nickolebrown.com. Click here for the full NewPages review. Fanny Says is available at the BOA Bookstore.
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