The many facets of black family life have not always been fully visible in American literature. Black families have often been portrayed as chaotic, fractured, and emotionally devastated, and historians and sociologists are just beginning to acknowledge the resilience and strength of African American families through centuries of hardship. In Mending the World, a host of beloved writers celebrate the richness of black family life, revealing how deep, complicated, and joyous modern kinship can be. From James McBride’s tender recollection of the man who claimed eight stepchildren as his own to Toi Derricotte’s moving portrait of a pregnant teenager who decides to keep her child; from Debra Dickerson’s lament over the shooting that crippled her nephew to Charles Johnson’s whimsical look at a married couple’s mid-life crisis; from Shay Youngblood’s moving fictional evocation of a lost mother to poet Kendel Hippolyte’s poignant telling of a father’s unexpected legacy, this inspiring volume presents-through fiction, memoir, and poetry-a multi-layered and optimistic portrait of today’s black America. Mending the World features fiction, personal memoir, and poetry by new writers (some publishing here for the first time) and established members of the canon.