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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Reader's Diary #2149- Ebony Flowers: Hot Comb

In the very first story in Ebony Flowers's Hot Comb, she recounts getting a perm as a young girl. It made me remember getting a perm as a young boy, probably around 11 or 12. My mom had been taking a hairdressing class and I was her guinea pig. It was hysterically bad as my wife, who has since seen the pictures, likes to remind me.

It's natural, I suppose, as readers to make such personal connections to a text. But Ebony Flowers' Hot Comb is a memoir of how her hair, and in broader terms how black women's hair, has had an impact on her life. It's an experience that I, as a white male, can only begin to appreciate thanks to stories like these.

These were engaging, funny, sometimes sad or infuriating, and like any collection of short stories, I felt some were more fully realized than others. The art was interesting, very stylistic and in the use of thick, curvy black lines, I wondered if it was a conscious choice to draw in a way reminiscent of hair or if this was just a coincidence.

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