Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bebe Moore Campbell

When we made it home from our T-giving trip, I was shocked to see that Bebe Moore Campbell had died. I saw it on Tayari Jones' site - then googled it to see what happened. I keep being surprised with younger deaths - though I wouldn't have thought of 56 as youthful 15 years ago. It seems very young now.
So, if you haven't already started, go and re-read some of Bebe's books. Here are a few of the obituary stories on her. She made a mark on us and her last book, 72 Hour Hold, really pushes the entire society to have a real dialogue on mental illness/disease.

LATimes: "Bebe was a passionate voice for Los Angeles," novelist Paula L. Woods said Monday. "She wrote about the historical and social forces that make us rub against each other and spark. Her heart was in the African American community."There will be a gap without her. Already, you feel that absence."

WashPost: "African Americans know about racism," Campbell said, "but I don't think we really know the causes. I decided it's first of all a family problem."

NYTimes: Along with writers like Terry McMillan, Ms. Campbell was part of the first wave of black novelists who made the lives of upwardly mobile black people a routine subject for popular fiction. Straddling the divide between literary and mass-market novels, Ms. Campbell’s work explored not only the turbulent dance between blacks and whites but also the equally fraught relationship between men and women.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blacks, books and newspapers

The NYTimes has a story on Black Issues Book Review's new venture, Blacks&Books - a supplement for Black newspapers. I love the idea - and hope it eventually gets to my, not-so-urban market.

A novel in 30 days
Are you crazy, ambitious or dedicated enough to pound out 50,000 words in 30 days? Then you're probably already participating in National Novel Writing Month. If you're not and want to learn about it (and some strategies for your own writing) read this.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yeah - still here and reading

What I'm reading...
I am back in a heavy reading mode and am gathering more books than I can possibly read by the end of the month. But I intend to make a valiant effort.

Found the latest Kim McLarin novel, Jump at the Sun, at the library. Loved her two first novels, so I'm excited about the premise of this one - a mother's struggle with her new life as a stay-at-home mom. I have read a few titles that do the mommy tales (the modern version) but don't know of that many new novels by Black women that are doing that. I realize I'm probably just missing them - so I'm open to suggestions in comments.

The NYTimes has a story about the surprise bestselling book by Sen. Barack Obama. Of course there's still all the talk about and his coy avoidance of the question of 2008, the White House and Hilary. Here's a bit from the NYTimes books story.
Writing in The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani called Mr. Obama, 45, “that rare politician who can actually write.” In The Washington Post, Michael Kazin praised Mr. Obama’s “knack for mixing stirring rhetoric about good and evil with practical policy ideas.”