Like Loving Backward: Stories
"Cheo Tyehimba is a gifted storyteller, in the tradition of Henry Dumas, Gloria Naylor, and Zora Neale Hurston. "Like Loving Backward" speaks to the Black male yearnings for love, and acceptance. But there are also universal truths to these multilayered tales. Take a mystical ride with Taylor, and find yourself yearning and learning, too."
KEVIN POWELL, Author of Someday We'll All Be Free
"Each story acknowledges the presence of spiritual power in the lives of ordinary African Americans. From a boy's first haircut in a North Philadelphia barbershop to a grieving mother who listens to her dead son's I-pod in a rural California town, these everyday people have extraordinary encounters with the otherworldly."
EISA ULEN, author of "Crystelle Mourning"
Cheo Tyehimba, an award-winning journalist and author, offers seven emotionally resonant and slightly supernatural stories about how black men learn to love.
Universal in their scope and inspired by the work of Black Arts Movement-era novelist and poet Henry Dumas, the tales are somewhat inner-city fabulist and out-of-bounds. They revolve around characters in different incarnations, at different stages of their lives that are faced with heart-rending, tragic, and an often-unknowing search for intimacy.
Men like Camden Holloway, whose search for his girlfriend's homeless father takes him on a journey from the streets of Oakland to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and deeper still into the uncharted territories of his own heart. There are also young men like Shotgun Baker, a sight-impaired, trash talking "basketball gangsta" whose brutal antics on the playground teach an unexpected lesson or a young drummer for an African dance troupe, who aided by the healing, transcendent touch of a good, loving woman finally discovers his greatest power.
In "Like Loving Backward," all of these characters inhabit landscapes where strange and often dangerous occurrences are commonplace. Whether in love or learning to love, these men are always slightly estranged from themselves and the world they live in, and yet, their motivations reveal deep feelings most readers will want to share.