ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)     



why not develop a new business aimed at meeting the intimate needs of black women, in an environment

that’s discreet, safe, and most important of all, completely focused on their needs, wants, and pleasures?

Thus is born the idea for A Sister’s Spa—a “full-service” facility



Books by Jill Nelson

 Let's Get It On: A Novel  / Finding Martha's Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island

Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience / Straight, No Chaser: How I Became a Grown-Up Black Woman

Police Brutality: An Anthology  / Sexual Healing

*   *   *   *   *


 (the debut novel ) by Jill Nelson 



With SEXUAL HEALING (Agate, June 2003; $23.95) Jill Nelson, author of the best-selling Volunteer Slavery and Straight, No Chaser, has written an outrageous new novel that’s as sexy and compelling as it is smart, sharply observed, and scorchingly funny. The result gives full rein to a voice that Terry McMillan described as “boisterous, honest, and hilarious,” in a pop page-turner that will have everyone talking about how Nelson’s heroines turn the world’s oldest profession on its head.

Lydia Beaucoup and Acey Allen are two childhood friends who’ve grown up to become successful mid-career professionals. But having reached 40, their career success is matched by their romantic and sexual dissatisfactions. Sharing their frustrations over a bottle of champagne, they hatch a plan: why not develop a new business aimed at meeting the intimate needs of black women, in an environment that’s discreet, safe, and most important of all, completely focused on their needs, wants, and pleasures? Thus is born the idea for A Sister’s Spa—a “full-service” facility that supplies handsome black men willing and able to fulfill their clientele’s every desire. Launching the enterprise is a struggle, but the conflict is just beginning: even as their delighted customer base grows, they face attacks from grandstanding church and community leaders, hostile media, malevolent business moguls, and other conniving parties.

From the most dignified black church in Oakland to sex-positive small-town Nevada, from the racks of Loehmann’s to the skyscraping executive suites of San Francisco, Sexual Healing is a comedy of outraged manners for the 21st century, a penetrating examination of sexual and racial politics, and a hilariously frank and forthright exploration of what women really want. Jill Nelson unleashes the storytelling abandon that captivated readers of the award-winning Volunteer Slavery and gives it full rein in what’s sure to be one of the hottest books of this or any season.

*   *   *   *   *

Sexual Healing is a wild, sexy ride, in which two inventive and hilarious sisters figure out a way to bring water into their sexual desert—and yours, too. It’s a fearless look at what women want, and a fresh take on how they can get it. If you enter these pages lonely and wistful, you'll emerge refreshed and invigorated, in body, mind, and soul.

--E. Lynn Harris, A Love of My Own and Any Way the Wind Blows

This is the novel her fans have been hoping Jill Nelson would have nerve enough to write! Sexual Healing is smart and sexy, funny and fabulous, jazzy and justified! Sister Jill isn't just a foot soldier in what passes for war between the sexes. She's our commander-in-chief and follow we must.

--Pearl Cleage, What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day and I Wish I Had A Red Dress

In Sexual Healing, Jill Nelson brings her formidable wit to fiction. She pulls the covers off of American sex, demolishing hypocrisy and double standards with a pen wielded like a stiletto, drawing blood on every page.

--Ishmael Reed, Another Day at the Front and From Totems to Hip-Hop

In a comic novel that is as insightful as it is irreverent, Jill Nelson takes a bold look at sexual mores and gender politics that will leave readers howling with laughter. Women have been waiting for this one!

--Valerie Wilson Wesley, Always True To You In My Fashion and Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do

Call it ‘Black Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough.’ In her stellar  Sexual Healing, Jill Nelson shows the sexual revolution isn't over—it's just beginning.

--Farai Chideya, Don’t Believe the Hype and The Color of Our Future

*    *   *   *   *

Reviews of Volunteer Slavery

Nelson's voice is boisterous, honest and hilarious.

--Terry McMillan

A scalding, candid, mordantly funny book…No one, black or white, man or woman, who has chafed at the quotidian affronts of the modern-day workplace will fail to see themselves in this highly personal account of a bad trip.Boston Globe


The same brutal honesty that allows [Nelson] to figuratively strip herself naked also makes her credible…Nelson has explored one woman's corporate hell in a way that is sometimes funny and often sad and that reveals and explores a great deal of pain that is not hers alone.Ellis Cose, Newsweek


Angry yet often very funny…may get attention because of its searing attack on the Washington Post, but…it is, above all, about identity and being black…[and] it is just plain hilarious.New York Times Book Review


Irresistible, I couldn't put the book down…Nelson [writes with] the sardonic wit and wistfulness of Terry McMillan…[bringing] to life the experience of a smart black woman in the obdurately white world of the media.Cynthia Crossen, Vogue


*   *   *   *   *

Reviews of Straight No Chaser

Combines autobiography, political analysis and self-help to discuss unapologetically and courageously what ails the African-American community at the turn of the new century.

--Beverly Guy-Sheftall, New York Times Book Review

Nelson, at her best…melding together autobiography, political belief and hard-hitting, in-your-face writing that says in no uncertain terms: Here's my truth; deal with it.

--Lise Funderburg, Newsday

A primer for black women, written with candor, courage and wicked wit.…Fans of Nelson's blunt, no-hold's-barred style won't be disappointed…. This is Full Nelsona fearless opinionator who has something to say about virtually everything. Nelson has succeeded in creating an impassioned call to action for black women.Valerie Boyd


Argues convincingly that black women need to raise a collective howl of rage.--Jill Smolowe, Time


A diatribe, a love song, a wake-up call, an ode, a wail, a funkified slice of scholarship that teaches not the accepted lessons, but the necessary ones. Everyone should read this book. Patricia Smith, Boston Globe

Agate  Publishers 1501 Madison St. Evanston, IL 60202  (847) 363-1830

*   *   *   *   *

Jill Nelson was born and raised in Harlem and has been a working journalist for over twenty years. She is a graduate of the City College of New York and the Columbia School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Essence, The Washington Post, The Nation, Ms., The Chicago Tribune and the Village Voice. Jill was a staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine during its first years of existence, and was named Washington D.C. Journalist of the Year for her work there. She freelances and lectures widely, and writes a twice-monthly column, “On the Verge,” for and is a monthly contributor to the Op Ed page of USA Today.

She was a professor of Journalism at the City College of New York from 1998 to 2003. Jill wrote the best-selling memoir, Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience (Noble Press, hardcover, 1993 and Penguin, paperback, 1994) which won an American Book Award.

She is the author of Straight, No Chaser: How I Became a Grown-Up Black Woman (Putnam, Fall 1997, Penguin, Winter 1999) and edited Police Brutality: An Anthology, for WW Norton, published in April 2000. Her first novel, / Sexual Healing, was released in June 2003. Her latest book, the non-fiction Finding Martha's Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island was published in May 2005 by Random House. The mother of an adult daughter, and a grandmother, she lives in Harlem. Jill Nelson Bio

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

*   *   *   *   *

Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President

By Ron Suskind

A new book offering an insider's account of the White House's response to the financial crisis says that U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner ignored an order from President Barack Obama calling for reconstruction of major banks. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, the incident is just one of several in which Obama struggled with a divided group of advisers, some of whom he didn't initially consider for their high-profile roles. Suskind interviewed more than 200 people, including Obama, Geithner and other top officials . . . The book states Geithner and the Treasury Department ignored a March 2009 order to consider dissolving banking giant Citigroup while continuing stress tests on banks, which were burdened with toxic mortgage assets. . . .Suskind states that Obama accepts the blame for mismanagement in his administration while noting that restructuring the financial system was complicated and could have resulted in deeper financial harm. . . . In a February 2011 interview with Suskind, Obama acknowledges another ongoing criticism—that he is too focused on policy and not on telling a larger story, one the public could relate to. Obama is quoted as saying he was elected in part because "he had connected our current predicaments with the broader arc of American history," but that such a "narrative thread" had been lost.—Gopusa

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)



update 29 February 2012 




Home  Jamie Walker Table

Related files:  Sexual Healing Reviews  Sexual Healing Interview