This Is Life: Rediscovered Short Fiction by Frank London Brown
Frank London Brown was one of the most important voices in Black Chicago literature, whose 1959 book Trumbull Park is a vital portrait of segregation in the North. He died of leukemia in 1962 at the age of 34. Between November 1959 and November 1960, he wrote “This Is Life,” a series of very short stories (most of them around 200 words) for the Chicago Defender. These poignant, vibrant vignettes observed episodes of Black life in Chicago in Brown’s trenchant style. These stories were then forgotten—they’ve fallen out of copyright and have never been collected, and even Brown’s family were unaware of their existence. We’ve discovered almost 130 of them, and with the blessing of Brown’s family, we’re publishing them as a collection.
The book will feature an introduction by Sandra Jackson-Opoku, the award-winning author of The River Where Blood Is Born and Hot Johnny (and the Women Who Loved Him), and a poetic afterward by Nile Lansana.
Release date: June 20, 2023