Afro-Bougie Blues: A Collection of Short Fiction by Lauren Wilson

09 Apr

Step into the world of Afro-Bougie Blues and walk in the shoes of different protagonists as they struggle to move through the world. Read how ordinary black women and men develop tenacity when they have to deal with the reality of their choices.

Alexis finally finds love after seventeen years of a lonely existence, but life throws a curveball into her life. Watch as she overcomes the challenge despite her past still looming over her head.

Walk with Rodney, a gulf war veteran who tries to drown the war memories with alcohol.

See Bessie, overweight and stuck in life, make a decision that sets her on a journey that transforms her life in ways she never imagined.

Thirteen-year-old Aisha wants answers to her complicated question about love. And this sets her father on the task of reflecting on what the word “love” really means.

Listen to Lenore and her sisters recount stories from their father’s life after he succumbs to cancer.

From depression, abortion, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), spousal abuse, addiction, and extramarital affairs to colorism. Each short story takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion as you experience different areas of life narrated from a first-person perspective.

Afro-Bougie Blues is about characters with stories that are relatable because it captures struggles people deal with in everyday life. The author’s captivating prose and incredible storytelling will plunge the reader into fascinating worlds and challenge them to take on new perspectives that in turn inspire, move and entertain.

A great read for anyone who wants to know how people with diverse problems face the toughness of the world they inhabit. How they move forward when the future is uncertain and fortunes change in the blink of an eye, challenging their reality and overcoming it. “You will find yourself not wanting this book to end.”

Purchase your copy of Afro-Bougie Blues: A Collection of Short Fiction by Lauren Wilson
Genre: African American contemporary fiction

Editorial Reviews for Afro-Bougie Blues

In a beautifully written debut collection of short stories, Lauren Wilson gives us a reflective meditation on ordinary people’s expectations and assumptions with stories that are emotionally rich whilst feeling fresh and disturbingly relevant in today’s world.

In a short story, nothing is superfluous and that’s certainly true in Afro-Bougie Blues where the focus of Wilson’s sentences is sharp and vivid but splendidly elliptical too.

Particularly skilled at compression, Wilson is not afraid to take risks, with form, content, style, and structure as is clearly evident in “Transformations” where she writes a story that doesn’t look how short stories are meant to look by presenting it as email exchanges. It’s close to faultless, ingenious, singular, and full of the echoes of real life.

The best short stories should explore ideas as well as emotions centering around an instant where intense change becomes possible or, at least, imaginable for the character and this is true in all of Wilson’s stories but perhaps no more so than in “Mourning Angela” where every sentence is as full and alive as a sentence can be while managing to stay ordinary and wholly relatable to her readers. And it’s this kind of attention to detail and richness of texture that lifts her characters from the page into some more lasting place in a reader’s mind.

With twelve stories for readers to immerse themselves in and characters that feel vulnerable and real Afro-Bougie Blues is a must-read for fans of short fiction and is an unreservedly recommended 5-star read! —BookViral

Afro-Bougie Blues by Lauren Wilson is a short story collection that basically requires all the content warnings: domestic violence, rape, addiction, abortion, and abuse. But there’s never anything gratuitous in this moving collection. Instead, each story looks at how well-developed characters are coping with what they’ve experienced.

In one story, a woman struggling to conceive a much-wanted baby looks back on an abortion she chose to have when she was a teenager. In this thoughtful and thought-provoking story, she considers who she was as a teenager, and how that choice is both a tragedy and another step along the path that led to who she is now: married, successful, and ready on all levels for motherhood. This is what I mean by the content warning. There’s nothing gratuitous or thrown into the book in order to shock readers, but readers, especially readers with similar traumas or similar experiences, may want to go into this book forewarned.

These twelve stories in Afro-Bougie Blues are fresh and original looks at universal questions of love and loss. Every day families face tragedies or readers meet individuals at a personal crossroads. Characters are often tested by heartbreak, loss, or the smaller disappointments of our lives, and some characters face dark, tragic events, but the overall feeling of this book isn’t depressing. These blues are relatable experiences, and through their setbacks, many characters are shown gaining strength from loved ones and making interesting personal discoveries. Warm, supportive friendships and quiet inner strength connect some of the short stories.

The challenge in any short story is developing full, human characters in such a limited space. Wilson succeeds here and brings complicated families and warm friendships to life in just a few pages. In a few cases, readers will see a conflict but still find themselves nodding along with characters on opposite sides. In one story, a married woman begins a queer affair that changes her outlook on love and life. Discovering this new side of herself brings light and joy into her everyday life, even deepening the understanding in her marriage and with her children.

In another story, a habitual cheater faces the horrible consequences of his actions, forever. His irresponsibility catches up with him in a meaningful, dark way that can still never make it right for his children. The author never shies away from showing a character’s raw emotions. She shows our likable characters making mistakes, sometimes at great cost, and she brings out a sympathetic hint in the more unlikable characters, too.

There are no recurring characters in this collection and the setting and mood change in each story. It’s suitable for reading with breaks between the stories since each one stands alone.

Overall, Afro-Bougie Blues is a solid short story collection of memorable characters facing love and loss. —ManyBooks

About the Author
Lauren Wilson is a safety consultant who is occasionally visited by a muse that allows her to write amazing stories. It only happens a few times a year, but it is a wondrous experience. The rest of the time, Lauren evaluates the safety of manufacturing equipment being sent to Europe. The machines are often the size of a room, so she travels frequently.

In her spare time, she is a voracious reader of sci-fi alien encounters, UK historical mysteries, and stories about vampires and werewolves. She’s an online spades player and has a 5-story apartment building dollhouse project that she figures will take her another 10 years to complete. One of their favorite things to do is to drive 4 hours into the Pocono Mountains in PA and visit the Cove Haven couples resort. It’s a long way to go in order to play air hockey, but it’s worth it.

Lauren and her husband, Howard love watching stand-up comedy videos and he has recently started finding online joke videos that they can laugh at together. They have one dog, a pit bull named Petey who is a major bed hog.

You can follow Lauren on her blog and on Facebook by visiting her website for more details,


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