Review: Mr. West by Sarah Blake (Published at Up the Staircase Quarterly)

mr west cover Most of the privilege has been off the page.

A white woman has privilege but not power.
A black celebrity has privilege but not power and also discrimination.

Has it in his hands, his hood, buried in the pavement against his face.

A white Jewish woman has privilege until she’s traveling in France.

Then riots start. Schools and synagogues firebombed.

from “Gaze”

Although Sarah Blake uses Kanye West and his celebrity as the lens through which she crafted Mr. West, her debut collection is not an “unauthorized lyric biography” of West as marketed by Wesleyan, but rather a cleverly dressed memoir. While Blake intertwines the media coverage of Kanye West’s successes and personal life throughout the volume, these biographical threads are neatly woven around Blake’s own personal life—from preparing her wedding to the birth of her son—and her meditations on the complicated relationships between celebrity, society, privilege, and the individual.

Read the full review here.

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