The Alan Review
Sweet Thang. Life Is Fine. Hollywood & Maine. These are all books by poet and dramatist Allison Whittenberg. These novels are about young black women coming to terms with who they are intellectually, emotionally, and culturally. Critics say Whittenberg’s young adult fiction is well written, and they praise the way she crafts convincing dialogue and moving narration ( Jones, 2009 ; Rochman, 2008 ; Brautigam, 2006 ; Hutley, 2006 ). They also commend her for offering readers an opportunity to see characters grapple with issues they are concerned about. For example, Martin (2006) points out that in Sweet Thang , “Charmaine struggles with many issues integral to African American life: whether to wear her hair straightened or natural, how to deal with her feelings of inferiority about her dark skin, and how to embrace her own intellectualism without inciting the ire of jealous peers” (p. 197). According to Brautigam (2006), the depiction of “[s]olid, loving parents” and a stable home in Sweet Thang “. . . provides a welcome respite for readers whose own lives are chaotic or who have had to read one too many problem novels” (p. 52).
Original Publication Citation
Hinton, K. (2011). Finding her voice: A conversation with Allison Whittenberg. The Alan Review, 38(2), 1-5. doi:10.21061/alan.v38i2.a.10
Hinton, KaaVonia, "Finding Her Voice: A Conversation with Allison Whittenberg" (2011). Teaching & Learning Faculty Publications. 39.