April 23, 2009

Powell's Interviews Laila Lalami

Secret Son will join my humongous pile of books to read:

Powells.com Interviews Laila Lalami

People will be talking about Secret Son — on college campuses, in book groups, online, in the US and abroad. Upon finishing the novel, I couldn't pin down what about it struck me as so distinctive. It took a second read to realize: Laila Lalami has written a timeless story that's, paradoxically, very much of our time.

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April 13, 2009


Alas, a blog » Amazon = Fail

Amazon is (and apprently has been for a few weeks) stripping "adult" titles of their sales rank so that they don't show up on bestseller lists and also don't show up in many searches. The criteria for "adult" appears to be: anything that portrays homosexuality as a positive or talks about homophobia as a negative. For example: Homophobia: A History by Bryan Fone — that would be a non-fiction history book about homophobia. What's not adult? Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds by Chronicle Books (with pictures of over 600 naked women). Want more examples? A huge list is growing here.

The only official word from Amazon? It's a "glitch." Glitch my ass. How does ALL books with gay content become "adult" and stripped of ranking? It's either a conscious decision to ban gay books, or an incredibly inept job of clearing "adult" content gone horribly wrong.

Many are calling for a boycott until the situation is corrected. But I already don't buy from Amazon. I'd rather buy in person at a local, independent bookstore whenever possible, or online. Living in New York, it's pretty easy to find inexpensive books and even hard to find books from various locations. If you're not in a similar situation, try Powell books online store.

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March 18, 2009

"Erasure" Comes To The Big Screen

[VIA Felicia McBride's BackList blog ] :

Black Voices Blogs | Angela Bassett to Step Behind Director's Chair With 'United States'

The Hollywood Reporter states that Bassett will make her directorial debut with 'United States,' an indie feature she's also producing with her Bassett/Vance Productions partner and husband Courtney B. Vance.

'United States,' based on the novel 'Erasure' by Percival Everett, is a dramatic comedy about Thelonius "Monk" Ellison, a prominent black literary figure who writes a faux autobiography from the perspective of a barely literate hoodlum troubled by the glorification of "ghetto" culture. When the book is lauded as a contender for the National Book Award, Ellison must choose between pride and fame.

Continue reading ""Erasure" Comes To The Big Screen"
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December 17, 2007

PW's Annual African-American Interest List

I'm kinda back. Will post more after I go on vacation in the middle of this week.

This is an annual list compiled be writer and editor Diane Patrick:

Publishers Weekly | African-American Interest: Adult and Children's Titles 2008

The following is a list of African-American interest adult books, fiction and nonfiction, publishing between September 2007 and March 2008.

[ I'm highlighting what caught my interest; read the lists at the above link ]


Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel (Sept., $24.95) by Alek Wek chronicles her life from Sudan to young London model to New York supermodel.

Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved Out of Slavery and Into Legend (Feb., $24.95) by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina looks at the history of a pre-Civil War black family.

From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island (Mar., $24.95) by Lorna Goodison chronicles the story of her family and their trials and tribulations in Jamaica.

Ida: A Sword Among Lions (Mar., $35) by Paula J. Giddings recounts the life of Ida B. Wells, a crusader embroiled in the struggle against lynching.

Continue reading "PW's Annual African-American Interest List"
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September 22, 2007

The Open Door Project Writing Competition

I saw this on a few blogs, probably first on Koreanish (the blog of writer Alexander Chee, one of the judges):

The Open Door Project:

A five-day publishing introduction intensive in New York City – including a series of lunches with literary agents, book editors, and other publishing figures, a public reading, and a private cocktail reception with New York’s writing community — will be awarded to the winner of the first Open Door Project fiction competition. The contest is open to gay men writing fiction with queer content who have not yet published a book of fiction. Accommodations and transportation will be provided to an out of town winner. Judges include Christopher Bram, Alexander Chee, Samuel R. Delany, Dennis Cooper, Robert Gluck, E. Lynn Harris, Scott Heim, Andrew Holleran, David Leavitt, Stephen McCauley, Dale Peck, and John Weir. Submit stories or stand-alone novel excerpts of up to 8,000 words by March 1, 2008. The winner will be announced June 08. There is no entry fee.

Submissions should be mailed to:

Don Weise, Open Door Project
c/o Oscar Wilde Bookshop
15 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

Please do not contact the bookstore for information about the Open Door Project. Queries can be sent to dweised@aol.com. No queries confirming receipt or status of submissions please.

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September 07, 2007

Check Maud For Diaz Updates

Maud Newton, that is. I'm sure she'll provide many links to reports and stories on Junot Diaz and his latest work of artThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Here's my favorite quote from recent JD news:

"You motherfuckas are so funny," he said. "If I do anything, you'll applaud." -- Junot DiazThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz at his reading at the Union Square Barnes & Noble

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September 06, 2007

I'm A Winner!!

Just registered at Powell's and posted a mini-review for Junot's latestThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and added it to the Daily Dose contest. Today I read this on the site:

Powell's Books - Daily Dose

Wednesday, September 5th
Today's Dose by Ronald from Brooklyn, New York
Congratulations, Ronald, for claiming your $20 gift certificate!

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
by Junot Diaz

Ronald's comments:
The decade-long wait for Junot's first novel was well worth it....[A] melange of literary styles: at turns a memoir...an urbane history of the Dominican Republic and a fantastical journey. Fans of his short fiction will be greatly rewarded, as will newbies. (read more)

Guess what I'm getting with my certificate?

If you're in NYC today (Thursday, October 6th), he'll be reading and discussing the book at the Union Square (17th & B'way) branch of Barnes & Noble.

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