Author reads from works at UH

Shange stressed 'claiming one's space,' satisfaction in one's personal decisions

La Monica Yarborough

Staff Writer

One of America's most colorful, eccentric and eclectic authors spoke at the University of Houston campus Monday.

Award-winning author, playwright and poet Ntozake Shange (whose name means "She Who Walks Like a Lion and has Her Own Things") read from her works at the Roy G. Cullen Memorial.

The reading was sponsored by the Houston Suitcase Theater, which is directed by University of Houston Professor Elizabeth Brown-Guillory, the UH English department and The Honors College.

Shange is best-known for her play ...for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.

An audience of approximately 200 admirers heard Shange speak on the importance of "claiming one's space" and read from some or her recent works.

One of the recent works she read from is a cookbook which will be released in February 1998, If I Can Cook So Can God.

For approximately an hour and a half, Shange read from her works, responded to questions, and shared bits and pieces of her ideology on life, history and culture.

She also expressed her thought that people should validate their decisions based upon the personal satisfaction they receive from that decision, regardless of what anyone else thinks is right or wrong.

She also made it very clear that she writes for an adult audience, although she has written a children's book called Whitewash.

Shange also said she writes much of her material based on actual news stories, and she told the audience that she is now learning to rope cattle. How about that for a learning experience?

After Monday's experience students and scholars alike had been touched by the words and the unconventional warmth and dry humor of one of America's literary greats.

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