Nerdy 30 Book #5

For my Black History month book, I read most of Nergoland by Margo Jefferson. My personal rule is that if you hit the 50% mark and still don’t like the book, you can DNF and give yourself credit. Unfortunately, that’s what I did here.

Margo Jefferson grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. The disconnect between being upperclass but subject to Jim Crow America should have been fascinating. It wasn’t. Jefferson kept switching between a first person and third person. There was also not a lot of great narrative flow. It felt very choppy and piecemeal. I wanted her to pick something and stick with it. I can’t abide a book that doesn’t flow and can’t pick the perspective.

It felt like Jefferson was trying to tell her life story in the style of highminded literary fiction. It may have worked for others but didn’t work for me. I got far less out of this book than I was hoping and plan to read other African American authors this year, partly to make up for what I missed here. The subject matter was there but the execution was a total turnoff. 2.5 out of 5


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