Authors writing elsewhere
Danyel Smith has a nice essay in the current Essence (with Terrance Howard on the cover) about falling for her new husband. That's cool for two reasons - the fact that Essence is devoting some pages to Black marriage and it's an opportunity to congratulate Danyel on finding wedded bliss. Check out her new novel, Bliss, as well. She's doing a few readings these days.
John Fountain had a piece on why he stopped going to church in the Washington Post last week. He raises good questions about the materialism of church leadership and the lack of energy, funds and programs directed toward the very real problems in the community. Thanks to Tayari Jones for the link. John is the author of True Vine: A Young Black Man's Journey of Faith, Hope and Clarity.
Here's an essay in The Book Standard that is a response to an essay by David Leavitt in the NYTimes about the closing of a gay bookstore in NY and the status of gay fiction. The Book Standard piece, by Johnny Temple, makes the comparison of the marginalization of gay fiction in general stores with similar treatment of titles by Black authors. Most of this will be familiar to lovers of Black books who can't find certain authors in big stores or are frustrated when their own titles are limited to the "race shelf." What I found most interesting is that, except for a mention of James Baldwin, there was no mention in either piece of the recent spate of Black gay literature. Now where are those books placed? On the Black or the gay shelf? I've noticed in several stores that those few shelves tend to be close together, if not adjacent. Another example of double invisibility.
The hits keeping coming. Here are reviews and stories about Terry McMillan and her new novel, The Interruption of Everything.
NY Daily News story
Seattle Times review
USA Today review
Philadelphia Inquirer review
Chicago Sun-Times review
What if you could see a trailer for a book? Yes, a visual interpretation of the written word - as a promotion vehicle. That's what the folks behind VidLit.com have come up with. I went there after reading about VidLits on MJRose's Buzz, Balls & Hype site. Watched the vidlit for her novel, The Halo Effect, then watched the Bertice Berry vidlit for When Love Calls You Better Answer. First of all, MJ Rose is not Black - so don't be confused - BBB is aware of that. Her site is great though with loads of insight on book publishing and marketing. Both vidlits were for novels I probably would not have picked up, but the animated promos piqued my interest in both of them. Something to check out.
Proceeds from a new book, titled 100 Words of Wisdom, will go toward fighting domestic violence. According to the book web site, Dr. Julianne Malveaux and are among the contributors. I love the animated woman on the site - though I must admit when I realized she follows your cursor, I did try to make her cross her eyes!
R. Spot Barber and Books in San Diego has closed due to a rent increase.
The African American Odyssey, a college text, has been revised for high school students. Here's a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the text, the differences between the two versions and the content.