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  #1  
Old 07-21-2008, 02:37 AM
breathesgelatin breathesgelatin is offline
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Sorority Sisters: NPHC-based novel by Tajuana Butler

Please forgive if this has been discussed before. I searched and I didn't see a thread on it.

I found Sorority Sisters: A Novel on Amazon.com recently and wondered if it would be a good read. Partially, I'm just fascinated to read a novel about pursuing membership in the NPHC. Partially, the reviews on Amazon seem really good. Here are the official editorial reviews:

Quote:
From Publishers Weekly
Bouncy and dialogue-driven, but awkwardly written, this debut novel strives to teach its predominantly African-American, 20-something female audience how to become strong and self-confident women independent of the financial or emotional support of family and boyfriends. While certainly a good life lesson, this maturing process occurs for five college women during one melodramatic sorority rush week, and there are so many characters with predictable, public-service-announcement problems that it's a challenge to sort them all out, much less learn from their mistakes. The hapless heroines--cute ingenue Cajen Myers, spoiled rich kid Stephanie Madison, romantically torn Malena Adams, ghetto-born-and-raised Tiara Johnson and book-smart Chancey Wright--must overcome their diverse economic and social backgrounds in the process of pledging a choice sorority. While the women vie for the best look and the best guy (both of which receive an excessive amount of description), the five friends also seem to compete for "worst obstacle to success," what with Cajen's herpes, Stephanie's drug-addicted biological mother and other issues like cheating boyfriends, unwanted pregnancy and low self-esteem. These are all worthy topics, but Butler's crowd of characters commonly experience revelations that conveniently guarantee a shallow victory for all by story's end. The book aims for suspense--will all five women join the sorority? Will they commit to the right man?--but the stereotypical characters and predictable situations remain insubstantial, although perhaps entertaining and even informative for a teenage audience. (May) FYI: Butler founded Lavelle Publishing, which issued this book in 1998.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
Butler writes a very engaging story about five African American college women struggling with campus life and the rigors of pledging. Cajen, Chancey, Malena, Stephanie, and Tiara come from diverse backgrounds and all have equally ambitious goals. Their decision to join the sorority and become a part of an enduring sisterhood forces each woman to utilize her unique strengths and confront her buried weaknesses. Cajen, the freshman, seduced by a more experienced upperclassman, struggles with the aftermath of a one-night stand; Chancey is the insecure girlfriend of a soon-to-be professional football player; Malena is the highly motivated and independent college student; Stephanie is the adopted daughter raised by a prominent Atlanta family; and Tiara is the disadvantaged inner-city girl struggling with her distrust of men. Each woman matures to confront her insecurities through sheer determination to survive not only the pledging process but also the rite of passage between friends and the unique bonds of sorority sisterhood. Lillian Lewis
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved
Anyone read it? NPHC members, is it reasonably accurate or just BS? Is it worth picking up? Or just adding to my wishlist?

Here is the Amazon link for those who are interested:

http://www.amazon.com/Sorority-Siste.../dp/037550415X
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2008, 12:30 PM
rhoyaltempest rhoyaltempest is offline
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Fiction is Fiction. Although some authors of this kind of literature are NPHC members, fictional stories are often exaggerated (sp.?) of course although there is some truth. For example, NPHC orgs don't have a "Rush Week" like orgs in other councils, so there's one fictional element that has been added. I read this novel years ago...really don't remember the details but I think I liked it. Other authors like this one are Kayla Perrin, Dorrie Williams-Wheeler, and there are others. If you want, read these for personal enjoyment but don't rely on them for research. If you are researching the NPHC, these are fictional so they are not what I consider resources.

Try "The Divine Nine" by Lawrence Ross for an overview of all the NPHC orgs and for more scholarly content (which goes a lot deeper and will answer a lot more questions), I highly recommend: "African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision" by Tamara L. Brown and others. Also "Black Greek Letter Organizations in the 21st Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun" by Gregory S. Parks and others. This one is the sequel to the previous one mentioned.

There are other books out there as well.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:33 PM
sigmadiva sigmadiva is offline
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[QUOTE=breathesgelatin;1684146]Please forgive if this has been discussed before. I searched and I didn't see a thread on it.

I found Sorority Sisters: A Novel on Amazon.com recently and wondered if it would be a good read. Partially, I'm just fascinated to read a novel about pursuing membership in the NPHC.

Quote:
Anyone read it?
Nope.

Quote:
NPHC members, is it reasonably accurate or just BS?
From what you provided, I'd say 50/50. It's a book where I'm sure the characters have been sensationalized just to sell copies.

Quote:
Is it worth picking up? Or just adding to my wishlist?
It might be a fun read in the genre of sorority-related books. Probabaly not as bad as "Pledged" by our "good friend" Robinson.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:40 PM
gamma_girl52 gamma_girl52 is offline
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I had the book and I thought it was okay. Nothing really to take seriously, just a nice, light read for me. I can't speak on whether or not the "process" involved was real but it's fiction. You can only take it for so much.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:11 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamma_girl52 View Post
I had the book and I thought it was okay. Nothing really to take seriously, just a nice, light read for me. I can't speak on whether or not the "process" involved was real but it's fiction. You can only take it for so much.
I read it in 2000 on an overseas flight.

One thing I liked was that overall it was a positive book and didn't glamorize hazing.

The bad thing was that I could never keep up with the girls who were pledging. I think there were five of them and only four distinct personalities came out.

When I later wrote my own novel about Black/Latino Greek Life, I remembered to try extra hard to give each of the pledges a personality and something to do, but I still had two that were ultimately unmemorable.

Sorority Sisters also fails to discuss "the process" beyond rush. Much of the book was "And we were so scared when we entered that room."

"The next morning..."

And it's like wtf, we want to know what happened!

My novel (again, in contrast, not to self-promote) has the INTENTION of de-glamorizing pledging and hazing rather than glossing over it.

So, Sorority Sisters is an important novel in that it sparked a "movement" of other black Greek novels, but succeeds more in a novel about friendship than it does spark discussions about Greek life.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:23 PM
Psi U MC Vito Psi U MC Vito is offline
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actually this would probably be the best place to ask. and if it has already been asked I apologize. Why exactly does NPHC not use the term pledge or pledge process?
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:25 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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Originally Posted by Psi U MC Vito View Post
actually this would probably be the best place to ask. and if it has already been asked I apologize. Why exactly does NPHC not use the term pledge or pledge process?
http://www.kappaalphapsi1911.com/fraternity/nphc.asp <----- read that for your answer.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:22 PM
jitterbug13 jitterbug13 is offline
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I own a copy of the book and read it several years ago, before I became a D9 member. I remember being one of those books that I personally could not put down. I read it in two days. It's a good story line, but if you are looking into NPHC, the books rhoyaltempest suggested will put you on the right path.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:58 PM
AKA_Monet AKA_Monet is offline
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She is another one of my Sorority Sisters, and I was speaking to her 2 weeks ago...
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:39 PM
jubilance1922 jubilance1922 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitterbug13 View Post
I own a copy of the book and read it several years ago, before I became a D9 member. I remember being one of those books that I personally could not put down. I read it in two days. It's a good story line, but if you are looking into NPHC, the books rhoyaltempest suggested will put you on the right path.

Ditto!

There's a few typos, but overall this was a great book from the fiction perspective. I also have the sequel.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:47 PM
IlovemyAKA IlovemyAKA is offline
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I also read it before I was a member. As someone said, it's a fictional novel. It's entertaining for those of us who like to read, but not for research purposes.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:42 PM
neosoul neosoul is offline
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My cousin gave me her copy when I became a Zeta, it was good reading.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:49 PM
jitterbug13 jitterbug13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jubilance1922 View Post
Ditto!

There's a few typos, but overall this was a great book from the fiction perspective. I also have the sequel.
There's a sequel??!! I got to look it up on Amazon.
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:40 AM
breathesgelatin breathesgelatin is offline
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Thanks for the thoughts everyone. I may pick it up just for pleasure reading - not as research obviously!

Interesting that this books spawned a generation of novels on the topic.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:19 PM
tld221 tld221 is offline
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i read this one! i think...

Actually, the one im thinking of is "The Sisters of Theta Phi Kappa," the same woman that wrote "The Delta Sisters?" (im writing this from memory, too lazy to walk over to the bookshelf)

but alas, if it was the same title yall are talking about, yes, i enjoyed it (read it before going greek) but greek storyline aside, i thought the plot(s) were totally predictable. not necessarily a bad thing, just no real surprises.
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