Sunday, June 24, 2007

Returning to the world and some reviews

Well, I've been gone too long again. But this blog is not forgotten - well by me anyway. Hopefully not by readers either.

The good news is that I've been writing more lately. Working on a book proposal and a play and I've been to a workship this month. So I feel like I'm moving forward.

I saw today that there's a new biography - though somewhat imagined - about Harriet Tubman. This one, Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life, by Beverly Lowry, is reviewed in the NYTimes today. I think it's interesting that there have been a few Tubman biographies in the last decade. I really enjoyed the one by Catherine Clinton. Unfortunately, since I've read one and am not doing research on Tubman, it makes this new one less attractive. I wonder how publishers cope with that and how Lowry was able to secure a contract for this work.

[Warning - I notice that I'm beginning to be like my mother in this way - I change subjects mid-conversation to totally different things. In my head there's a series of twists and turns that got me there - but of course the listener/reader, does not follow. I could have written a transition instead of the above, but I don't have it in my head today.]

Terry McMillan has a wonderful essay in the Washington Post that is a memoir of a summer of change for her (and pain and sadness and color). This line:

This is when I began to dye.

Seems so perfect to me - read it, you'll see. The essay is called "Excitement in Bed." Tantalizing, isn't it?

There's even an email address for her at the end - which I thought was bold. I'm sure she'll be flooded with messages.

Also in the Post today, a feature on Michael Baisden's radio show, Love, Lust and Lies. I've listened to it a few times and found it oddly adult for the middle of the afternoon - but maybe I'm just a prude. I do like it when he talks about issues and the fact that he calls his audience family really works. And, to be honest, I live a life that's pretty separate from some of the main centers of traditional African American life. In other words, I don't hear "us" talking in most of my encounters during the week, so it's kind of a window for me. Sad, but true.

And, on that topic, I am making a better effort to find children's books featuring characters of African descent. I had been rather lackadaisical about that, though our childrens' library at home is robust. So we came home with a stack of books today. Thank the universe that our local library puts a good sampling on display, as with the two little ones, my rounds in the children's section consists of grabbing what I can while being pulled into our reading castle.

I am looking for the Gullah stories that were published and are, I think, connected to the defunct children's series, Gullah, Gullah Island. Surprisingly, only one is in our catalog here. I think the books are out of print, so I'll likely be buying used copies at Amazon. But I'd love to find them at a Black retailer, so I'll check Cush City too. If you have a recommendation for sources, let me know.