Beth Kephart of Juncture Notes interviews Camille Dungy about writing Guidebook to Relative Strangers.
Read the interview here.
Poetry Collections By Women That Will Keep You Motivated To Resist
Though garnering less attention, one of the biggest challenges facing our lives today is climate change and the destruction of the natural world — and Camille T. Dungy’s poetry collection, Smith Blue, portrays humanity as both the antagonist and the antagonized when it comes to the environment, drawing attention to the damaging environmental effects of modern living as well as humans’ own vulnerability to nature.
Another Camille T. Dungy collection to make this list, Trophic Cascade will make you think deeply about environmental degradation and disaster, and the legacy today’s humans are leaving the generations of tomorrow. Dungy’s poems speak to survival and resilience, new life and death, nature and power, and the roles of both fragility and endurance in the world.
“Some essay collections challenge your intellect, others break open your heart, a few grant a new way of seeing, and occasionally one sings a song you feel in your bones. It’s rare that a collection hits all four notes, yet Camille T. Dungy’s first collection of essays, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History (W.W. Norton, 2017) does so with impressive range, ambition, and timeliness.”
Guidebook to Relative Strangers makes the list!
Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and History, by Camille T. Dungy (W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393253757, $25.95) “I approached Dungy’s book with the same feelings I had when starting Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts. I had very little in common with the writers of these two books or the experiences related in them, yet with each I found myself drawn in by the acute intelligence of the writing and pulled along by the sheer compulsion of a story well told. Not only is Dungy a more than capable storyteller, she writes like the poet she is, and, like all poets, she leads us across a boundary, expanding our worlds.” —Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA
“Motherhood memoirs make up a robust though almost entirely white genre. Camille T. Dungy’s evocative debut, “Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and History,” meticulously parses the ways in which work, travel and creativity affect black motherhood, and in doing so provides a much needed perspective….”
“What resonates most within these essays is Dungy’s self-awareness: She knows who she is and how her identities impact how she’s perceived. If you’ve been searching for an Eat, Pray, Love-esque memoir that isn’t exploitative, Guidebook to Relative Strangers is definitely worth your time.”