Ntozake Shange, playwright of the acclaimed For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf play (and newly adapted Tyler Perry flick) has released a new book. Some Sing, Song Cry (St. Martin’s Press) is the first novel in 16 years from the now 61-year-old playwright, and it details her family saga in nearly 600 pages. Publisher’s Weekly calls Shange’s new work a provocative fictional history. The Booklist says it’s a riveting epic of courage.
Shange was recently interviewed by the strong New York Times, revealing what she’s been up to, and her thoughts on what became of her play that the popular filmmaker Tyler Perry recently transformed to the big screen.
Some Sing, Some Cry is a novel that took 15 years to write, and Shange’s sister, Ifa Bayeza, is the co-author. Together the sisters penned the story of seven generations of family kept together through one another and music. According to the NY Times, the story moves through Reconstruction, World Wars I and II, The Great Migration, and on to the civil rights movement. In Shange’s signature style, the text is informed by jazz, blues, spirituals, and rhythm and blues. The novel comes to a close in present times with Tokyo Walker, a notable R&B singer who takes a tour to the Motherland.
“It gives readers another family to turn to when things look bleak,” the Brooklyn-based playwright shares.
The in-depth interview with the Times didn’t go without its mention of Tyler Perry. Shange reveals she was pleased with Perry’s work but told him explicitly not to include his favorite character in drag, Madea.
“I think it’s very good,” Shange said. “He kept a lot of my language, that’s what I liked the most.”
Shange’s “Some Sing, Some Cry” is on book shelves now. Order at Amazon.
Photo Source: NYTimes