Monday, August 10, 2009

The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates came up in Baltimore, a middle son of a father who had seven children by four women. A Beautiful Struggle is the lyrical, poetic story of Coates’ parents’ struggle to imbue their children with the skills and education needed to master their often unfriendly environment.

Walter Moseley called Coates the James Joyce of the hip-hop generation and before starting the book, I questioned this assessment as perhaps overblown. As I read the book, however, I came to fully agree. Coates has an amazing facility with language, creating vivid visuals utilizing an interplay of rap inspired prose.

Having lived in DC and Maryland during the years Coates was growing up in Baltimore and aspiring to Howard University, I connected all the more with Coates’ memoir. But, even those readers not familiar with the world Coates inhabited will find The Beautiful Struggle a beautiful read. Sorry, I couldn’t resist . . .

1 comment:

Susan said...

If you mean early James Joyce, I'll read it. The "Ulysses" and following then Joyce is just to incoherent (or I'm just to dense) to see that as a compliment.

Sounds like a good book.