Sunday, April 30, 2006

Checking for reviews and such

Just a few quick hits:

Miami Herald review of Walter Mosley's Fortunate Son.

An interesting story on "chica" lit from The Arizona Republic. Here's an interesting quote from Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez:

"Labels can be tools of empowerment when used properly, and they can be
tools of marginalization when used incorrectly," Valdes-Rodriguez says. "They
can be both at once. And I know that if I didn't have a Spanish name, I would be
selling a lot more books than I am . . . because I get notes from people saying,
'I'm not Latina, but I read your book anyway.' I know Jennifer Weiner isn't
getting notes saying, 'I'm not Jewish, but I read your book anyway,' for In Her
Shoes or Good in Bed, and our books are very similar. . . .
"My worry is
that bookstores are going to start to have the Latina section. And at that
point, my career dies."

There's another comparison to the African American literary landscape before and after Terry McMillan. (The comparison in the above quote is of course unspoken, but if you've been in any major bookstore, you've seen "our" section). Of course the so-called urban lit fad is driving us further in that direction of marginalization and stereotypes.

The Palm Beach Post has an editor who is blogging about Black literature. I don't know why that shocked me - it just seemed really specific for a metro daily in a city that I don't think of as black. Shocking, but cool. Check out Rhonda Swan, the Literary Diva.

E. Lynn Harris has a new novel out. Here's a feature story about him from the Washington Blade in which he declines to call himself an activist and talks about upcoming work. The new novel is I Say a Little Prayer. Gay men and the black church. Man, E. Lynn really set us to talking.

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