NC Literary Hall of Fame



A Failure to Communicate by S. Andrea Allen

BLF Press
$14.95, paperback / $8.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-0-9972439-4-9
January, 2017
Fiction: Short stories / African American / LGBT
Available from your local bookstore or

"A Failure to Communicate is a collection of essays and short stories crafted with a deft and knowing hand by a talented writer and editor. Allen’s wonderful handling of diverse topics includes elementary school racism, the politics of an office potluck, and picking up the pieces professionally and personally when life decides it has other plans for you. It is a wonderful addition to the canon and to my bookshelf."
—LaToya Hankins, author of SBF Seeking... and K-Rho: The Sweet Taste of Sisterhood

"In A Failure to Communicate: Stories, S. Andrea Allen has written a memorable collection of stories that capture the universal essence of what it means to love self, other people, and the importance of communication in an array of beautifully imagined relationships and scenarios. These twelve stories speak an undeniable truth in vibrant vignettes of lesbian love, black history, feminism, abuse, and loss."
—Claudia Moss, author of If You Love Me, Come

A Failure to Communicate, S. Andrea Allen’s debut collection of short fiction and essays, focuses on how communication, or the lack thereof, impacts Black women’s lives. The stories range from the humorous to the heartbreaking: one woman wins a bake-off because her co-worker misunderstands the contest; an overweight woman finally learns to love herself, even though it means leaving her girlfriend.

A teenager reflects on his mother's inability to discuss her depression; a woman realizes that her partner has been hiding a gambling addiction, and has to decide whether to help her or save herself. The women in this collection are often silenced, but Allen imbues them with a voice that demands to be heard.

S. (Stephanie) Andrea Allen, Ph.D, is a native southerner and out black lesbian writer, scholar, and educator. In 2014, she founded BLF Press, and recently co-founded the Black Lesbian Literary Collective. She co-edited Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction (BLF Press 2016) and Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color (BLF Press 2017). Her debut collection of short fiction and essays, A Failure to Communicate, was released in early 2017, and she is currently working on her first novel.

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