The triumph of this deeply satisfying essay collection is its presentation of a whole human being: immensely cultivated, likable because unfailingly honest, reasonable, mature, witty, and never less than eloquent. Clifford Thompson’s perspective is that of a humane African-American male who is wary of any condescending sentimentality or group-rant, who loves jazz, movies, books, and the oddities of daily life. His prose style is consistently thoughtful, surprising and unobtrusively elegant, and the voice navigates with remarkable smoothness between personal experience and critical analysis. With this selection, he vaults to the front ranks of essayists of his generation.
– Phillip Lopate