Praise for Po Man's Child

“Blackman's tale of a family's bleak and twisted history strikingly illustrates the way even a wounded heart will expand to accommodate the many kinds of love (both nurturing and frightening) it craves.”
Publisher's Weekly

“Blackman renders her theme—the tragedy of the American family—in extreme terms, as if smashing her fist in one's face, and readers simply cannot avoid its impact.”
Booklist

Po Man’s Child Tramples on Taboo and ignores limits. Blackman shrinks from neither pain nor explicit connection, twisting both into something new and illuminating.”
San Francisco Chronicle

Po Man’s Child stands as one of the best debut novels of the year.”
Boulder Weekly

“Blackman could be the next Toni Morrison. Or Katherine Dunn. Or William Faulkner. Or, plainly put, Marci Blackman.”
Albuquerque Weekly

from Po Man's Child...


Aunt Florida is Angry and it's not a good sign. Yesterday the picture of her that adorns my mantle—the one with the cigar in her mouth, and the nickel-sized tar black eyes that glare at you no matter where you stand in the room—tipped over three times. Today all the books on my bookshelf conspired to fall at the exact same moment. And now three mocking liquid shadows dance violently upon my wall even though the candles that cast them burn calm.

"When the Po ladies start turnin their faces down on ya," my mother always warned, "you know they are not happy."

It is four a. m. Mary lies flat on her back, knees bent, hands clasped behind her head, breasts falling off to the side. I'm propped up beside her, leaning on one elbow, my finger circling the labia stencil tattooed across her navel.

"Tell me a story," she whispers in a sultry voice, stopping the motion of my hand with her own.

"Not tonight," I answer, refusing to bite. "Not in the mood."

"Oh," she says coyly, still holding my hand, "but it's not a request." She pinches the skin on the soft side of my forearm, then uses it for leverage as she sits up. It doesn't hurt when she pinches me. It never does...