We're not gonna lie: this is one tough read. Walker tackles hard issues and picks at raw patches in the American conscience, including racism, lynching, rape, abortion, pornography, and interracial relationships. While she does this with clarity and sometimes even humor, there's a lot of ugliness and unhappiness to deal with.
The emotional level aside, be aware, too, that some of these stories aren't stories. They read more like scholarly essays (we're looking at you, "Coming Apart: By Way of Introduction to Lorde, Teish and Gardner" and "Advancing Luna—and Ida B. Wells") and lack a clear plot or narrative line.