African-American Short Fiction by Lauren Wilson

Afro-Bougie Blues by Lauren Wilson is a collection of vignette stories that detail the activities of African American characters with real-life challenges and lived experiences. The stories are emotionally moving and thought-provoking as they are written in a way that sounds to the reader’s mind as pure thought and conversations from one person to another.

The book opens with Mourning Angela the story of Alexis a woman that has suffered loss by way of miscarriages, betrayal of a first love, and finding love and hope in the unlikeliest of people in the depths of her dreams. This 34-year-old highly educated self-proclaimed perfectionist appears to the world to have it all and can do it all, but the realization is that she fails in being able to carry a child to term. Her body fails her, and she questions if her decision to abort a child in her younger years is to blame.

In Confessions of an Adulteress, the journey of love transcends gender norms and societal expectations with a subtle message on speaking and living one’s truth, an essential aspect of living a life of passion, fulfillment, and authenticity, especially when there are children involved. As a balance to the books’ stories of life, we are introduced to thirteen-year-old Aisha, in Her Question a teenager being raised by a single-parent father with a burning question that he wants to avoid but knows his responsibility as a parent does not allow him the luxury. This comical but very teenage dramatic story provides the reader with insight into how most men that are fathers of daughters feel when their daughter has a “serious” question. The story is lighthearted but provides a glimpse into the psyche of both father and daughters relating to matters of the heart.

The dialogue in each story of Afro-Bougie Blues by Lauren Wilson is refreshing, and the reader can find some parts of themselves and the people they know. It is uncommon to read short stories that speak from the heart with vivid details on abortion, PTSD, infidelity, and puppy love romance, but it’s executed well in this collection. To the reader, it’s like dreaming in color. The stories are each short in page numbers but impactful in content, entertaining, and appealing.