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Fiction Women of Colour

The Sea Birds Are Still Alive

The Sea Birds Are Still AliveToni Cade BambaraThe Women’s Press1984

Ten stories of black life written with Toni Cade Bambara’s characteristic vigor, sensibility and winning irony. The stories range from the timid and bumbling confusion of a novice community worker in “The Apprentice” to the love-versus-politics crisis of an organizers wife, to the dark and bright notes of the title story about the passengers on a refugee ship from a war-torn Asian nation.

Young girls, weary men, lovers, frauds and revolutionaries – Toni Cade Bambara handles them all the expertise, passion and huge talent. As the Chicago Daily News said, “Ms. Bambara grabs you by the throat…she dazzles, she charms.”

The cop dropped his arms quickly and spun away, one hand on his holster. He looked at Naomi, glanced in my direction again. In moments like this I probe beneath the layers of bluff and tough to inspect the mush that is me inside. I checked for leakage. I was doing okay. Mostly cause Naomi looked so sure, standing there, legs apart like a tree standing in the water – Naomi was not about to be moved.

The Sea Birds Are Still Alive