Review: Emily Bernard on Imani Perry's Lorra…

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry is a story about a story. Author Imani Perry describes the book as “less a biography than a genre yet to be named.” In tender, elegant prose, Perry establishes her literary mission, which is to honor the ambition of the late Lorraine Hansberry, the first African American writer to have a play produced on Broadway, “to put down the stuff” of her life. But what exactly constitutes the stuff of a life? Perry, a formidable scholar with a poet’s voice, attends to the big-ticket events that turned Hansberry into a target for the FBI with the same nuance and compassion with which she treats the private self that Hansberry revealed in journals and correspondence.

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