I had a long conversation with a writer friend a few weeks ago about how amazed I am that Black women I know had not heard of some of the best contemporary writers in our community.
It shocks me every time I mention Pearl Cleage and the person I'm talking to doesn't know who she is or hasn't read her. Even when she is a regular reader.
Well, I got a little comeuppance today. I saw on Tayari Jones' blog that Linda Villarosa has a novel out - and an essay here talking about how she made the shift from journalist to novelist.
I know who Linda Villarosa is - and you probably do too if you've ever read a few issues of Essence. Yet I had no idea she had a novel out. And I will definitely go and get it this fall.
So, it's not that people aren't reaching for books, it's just that they are not hearing about them. Even when, like me, they spend hours every day thinking about books and authors and publicity and such.
We have almost too many sources and in some ways not nearly enough reach or memory to know everything that's out there. It's not a great tragedy if you miss one book, but I think it's a shame when good and great authors go unnoticed.