Monday, June 27, 2005

McMillan's Down Low Experience

Down Low Kills Stella's Groove
Terry McMillan's bestselling book and the movie based on it, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, were based on her own experiences with a much younger lover. The movie was a big hit and I'm sure sparked many a fantasy about island rendez-vous. Well, in real life it seems McMillan's lover was on the down low. He has admitted he's gay and is seeking support from her. It's all coming out in the divorce proceedings and the news media. Stories appeared today in the SFChronicle and Chicago Tribune.

With all the recent attention to the "down low," a novel by McMillan on the trials of a woman caught up in the lies would be a big seller. And not a bad way to get even.

Is Waiting to Exhale Chick Lit?
Well, the NYTimes seems to think it is, or at least a precursor to chick lit. Felicia R. Lee's story in the NYT looks at how pioneering authors Terry McMillan, Connie Briscoe and Benilde Little are writing stories about more mature women these days. Interesting to see the three of them put together in this story. Other authors, like Pearl Cleage, are named as well.
Here are their upcoming or recent titles:
Connie Briscoe, Can't Get Enough
Terry McMillan, The Interruption of Everything
Benilde Little, Who Does She Think She Is?

Mississippi Freedom Fiction
Denise Nicholas, the actress from In The Heat of the Night (the TV series, not the movie), has a novel due out in August. The book, Freshwater Road, is mentioned in DeWayne Wickham's column in USA Today and recounts the tale of a young woman working in Mississippi during the 1960s civil rights movement. Interesting timing for her, considering the developments in the murder cases in Mississippi this summer.

80 Year Old Book Club
The Des Moines Register has a feature on an 80-year-old women's book club that started as an all black YWCA group and is now integrated. I've been a participant in only one regular book club, all African American, and have always wondered what it would be like to read with an integrated group - outside of academic settings, that is. It was nice to see that this group has been going strong for so long.


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