Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Heads of the Colored People
  • Heads of the Colored People

  • A satirical and daring collection of short stories exploring black life from one of America's rising stars.

    'Makes you shake your head in delight... Her stories feel simultaneously like the poke of a stick and a comforting balm; a smack followed by a kiss. I’m so into it' Bim Adewunmi, Guardian

    Heads of the Colored People interrogates our supposedly post-racial era to wicked and devastating effect, exposing the violence that threatens black Americans, no matter their apparent success.

    A teenager is insidiously bullied as her YouTube following soars; an assistant professor finds himself losing a subtle war against his office mate; a nurse is worn down by the demand for her skills as a funeral singer. And across a series of stories, a young woman grows up, negotiating and renegotiating her identity.

    This electric collection of short stories marks the arrival of a remarkable writer and an urgent new voice.

    *Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction 2019*

    *Shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2019*

Nafissa Thompson-Spires is a prize-winning short story writer. She earned a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The White Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, StoryQuarterly, Lunch Ticket and The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She is a 2016 participant of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, a 2017 Tin House workshopee, and a 2017 Sewanee Writers Conference Stanley Elkin Scholar. Born in San Diego, California, she now lives in Illinois with her husband where she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and African American studies at the University of Illinois.