Are You Down?

Everybody knows adolescence is nasty, brutish, and not nearly short enough.

And, actually, yours could have been a lot worse.

It could have been the way it is in Asali Solomon’s debut Get Down, a collection of stories about young African-Americans set in 1980s Philly.

You could have been called “Oreo” by the one other black girl at the all-white school your parents made you attend. You could have been fat, lonely, and in love with your first cousin. Or abandoned by your father, betrayed by your best friend, or crushed out on some white guy who doesn’t notice you.

You could have felt like you didn’t fit inside your skin, like you didn’t fit in no matter where you went or whom you were with.

Oh, wait. Maybe you did feel that way.

Because as Solomon knows — and captures perfectly in these tough, sexy, moving stories — that’s what adolescence is all about.

Available online at amazon.com.