Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White

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UPC: 9781609381608
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Authors: Aisha Sabatini Sloan
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University Of Iowa Press; 1st edition (March 15, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 144 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1609381602
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1609381608
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.75 x 0.6 x 9.25 inches


In these intertwined essays on art, music, and identity, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, the daughter of African American and Italian American parents, examines the experience of her mixed-race identity. Embracing the far-ranging stimuli of her media-obsessed upbringing, she grasps at news clippings, visual fragments, and lyrics from past and present in order to weave together a world of sense.

Art in all forms guides the author toward understanding concepts like blackness, jazz, mortality, riots, space, time, self, and other without falling prey to the myth that all things must exist within a system of binaries. Recalling her awkward attempts at coolness during her childhood, Sabatini Sloan evokes Thelonious Monk’s stage persona as a metaphor for blackness. Through the conceptual art of Adrian Piper, the author is able to understand what is so quietly menacing about the sharp, clean lines of an art gallery where she works as an assistant. The result is a compelling meditation on identity and representation.



About the Author

Aisha Sabatini Sloan earned her MA in cultural studies and studio art at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and her MFA in creative writing at the University of Arizona. She taught writing at the University of Arizona for six years and is currently studying to become a yoga instructor.