Know It by Heart

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2017-02-09 01:47Z by Steven

Know It by Heart

Northwestern University Press
June 2003
256 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Trade Paper ISBN: 978-1-880684-95-5

Karl Luntta, Director of Media Relations
The State University of New York, Albany

When a racially mixed family moves into an all-white neighborhood in East Hartford, Connecticut, in 1961, lives are altered forever. Karl Luntta’s Know It by Heart follows the adventures of young Dub Teed, his sister Susan and neighbor Doug Hammer, who befriend newly arrived Ricky Dubois, the daughter of an African-American woman and her white husband. When burning crosses appear at night-and worse-the young adolescents set out to find justice and discover themselves in the process.

Despite the book’s serious anti-racist theme, Know It by Heart is filled with humor reminiscent of Mark Twain. In this suspenseful novel, Karl Luntta brilliantly captures the world of the young adolescent in his characters and dialogue and in the innate comedy and awkwardness of that age. This is a book that will appeal to parents and teenagers alike.

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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Novels, United States, Virginia on 2017-01-20 23:14Z by Steven

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

Chronicle Books
2017-01-31
260 pages
7-1/4 x 10 in
Hardcover ISBN: 9781452125909

Patricia Hruby Powell

Illustrated by Shadra Strickland

From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

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Re Jane: A Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2016-12-26 02:27Z by Steven

Re Jane: A Novel

Pamela Dorman Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2015-05-05
352 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0525427407
Paperback ISBN: 978-0143107941

Patricia Park

  

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut.

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Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2016-12-07 02:08Z by Steven

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?

Ecco (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2016-12-06
192 pages
5.313 in (w) x 8 in (h) x 0.432 in (d)
Paperback ISBN: 9780062484154
E-book ISBN: 9780062484161

Kathleen Collins (1942-1988)

Foreword by: Elizabeth Alexander

Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year, and named one of the most anticipated books of the fall by the Huffington Post, New York, The Boston Globe, Lit Hub, The Millions, and Nylon.com.

Now available in Ecco’s Art of the Story series: a never-before-published collection of stories from a brilliant yet little known African American artist and filmmaker—a contemporary of revered writers including Toni Cade Bambara, Laurie Colwin, Ann Beattie, Amy Hempel, and Grace Paley—whose prescient work has recently resurfaced to wide acclaim.

Humorous, poignant, perceptive, and full of grace, Kathleen Collins’s stories masterfully blend the quotidian and the profound in a personal, intimate way, exploring deep, far-reaching issues—race, gender, family, and sexuality—that shape the ordinary moments in our lives.

In “The Uncle,” a young girl who idolizes her handsome uncle and his beautiful wife makes a haunting discovery about their lives. In “Only Once,” a woman reminisces about her charming daredevil of a lover and his ultimate—and final—act of foolishness. Collins’s work seamlessly integrates the African-American experience in her characters’ lives, creating rich, devastatingly familiar, full-bodied men, women, and children who transcend the symbolic, penetrating both the reader’s head and heart.

Both contemporary and timeless, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? is a major addition to the literary canon, and is sure to earn Kathleen Collins the widespread recognition she is long overdue.

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Venous Hum

Posted in Books, Canada, Media Archive, Novels on 2016-11-19 22:06Z by Steven

Venous Hum

Arsenal Pulp Press
2004
232 page
Paperback ISBN: 9781551521701

Suzette Mayr

High school reunions can be hell. But when you throw in racial and sexual tensions, extramarital affairs, and cannibalistic, undead vegetarians, it’s hell times infinity.

Brash, clever, and monstrously funny, Venous Hum charts the lives of Lai Fun Kugelheim and Stefanja Dumanowski, best friends who, upon hearing the news of an old high school acquaintance’s death, are gripped by an insatiable nostalgia and organize a twenty-year reunion. What initially seemed like a simple task becomes increasingly complicated for Lai Fun, but the past is nothing compared to her messy present: her marriage to a successful businesswoman is crumbling, she’s having an affair with a man (who happens to be Stefanja’s husband), and her oddly supernatural mother—an immigrant vegetarian with an unusual appetite—only wants her daughter to be happy. But in the wake of such chaos, the only constant is the hum of the blood coursing through her veins.

A satire on race, gender, sexual preference, and vegetarianism, this is a magic-realist novel that will throw your assumptions of the world and the people who inhabit it out the window. It’s the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence that announces the end of CanLit as we know it, and the beginning of something entirely new.

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Swing Time

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2016-11-19 21:12Z by Steven

Swing Time

Penguin Press
2016-11-15
464 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1594203985
Paperback ISBN: 978-1524723194

Zadie Smith

Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.

But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey—the same twists, the same shakes—and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history but a present dance to the music of time.

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Black Like Us

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2016-11-11 01:45Z by Steven

Black Like Us

Original Works Publishing
2016-11-08
102 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1630920944

Rachel Atkins

Foreword by Allyson Hobbs, Ph.D

Family secrets ripple through time when three present-day sisters discover the truth about a young African-American woman passing for white sixty years before. What happens in between is a frank and funny look at the shifting boundaries of tolerance and what identity really means.

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The Sympathizer

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Novels on 2016-11-02 18:10Z by Steven

The Sympathizer

Grove Press
April 2015
384 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0802123459
Paperback ISBN: 978-0802124944

Viet Thanh Nguyen

  • Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
  • Winner of the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
  • Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
  • Winner of the 2015-2016 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (Adult Fiction)
  • Winner of the 2016 California Book Award for First Fiction

Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times Book ReviewWall Street JournalWashington Post, Seattle Times, Daily BeastKansas City StarLibrary JournalKirkus ReviewsPublishers WeeklyBooklist, GuardianNational PostMPR News, Amazon, Slate, FlavorwireEntropy, Quartz, and Globe and Mail

A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. In dialogue with but diametrically opposed to the narratives of the Vietnam War that have preceded it, this novel offers an important and unfamiliar new perspective on the war: that of a conflicted communist sympathizer.

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s astonishing novel takes us inside the mind of this double agent, a man whose lofty ideals necessitate his betrayal of the people closest to him. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

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Gentleman Jigger: A Novel of the Harlem Renaissance

Posted in Books, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2016-10-10 00:15Z by Steven

Gentleman Jigger: A Novel of the Harlem Renaissance

Da Capo Press
2008-01-23 (originally written in 1928)
352 pages
5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
ISBN: 978-0786720637

Richard Bruce Nugent (1906-1987)

An important addition to the literature of the period, Gentleman Jigger is the story of two brothers. Aeon, who passes for white and becomes a famous poet, faces the conundrums of love across the color line. Stuartt, who is openly homosexual-as was the author-joins the younger intellectuals of Harlem in defying authority figures, both black and white, at the notorious “Niggeratti Manor.” After the group disperses, Stuartt moves to Greenwich Village and becomes sexually involved with a young hoodlum. Charming and audacious, Stuartt eventually seduces one of the gangster’s top bosses, Orini, before his friendships with Wayne, a young heiress, and Bebe, Orini’s “moll,” set them all spinning in a whirlwind of jazz-age glamour and celebrity…that ends in an ironic dénouement.

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The Leopard Boy, A Novel

Posted in Books, Europe, Media Archive, Novels on 2016-08-10 01:37Z by Steven

The Leopard Boy, A Novel

University of Virginia Press
January 2016 (Originally published in 1999 as L’Enfant Léopard)
304 pages
Paper ISBN: 9780813937908
Cloth ISBN: 9780813937892
Ebook ISBN: 9780813937915

Daniel Picouly

Translated and Afterword by:

Jeanne M. Garane, Professor of French and Comparative Literature
University of South Carolina

October 15, 1793: the eve of Marie-Antoinette’s execution. The Reign of Terror has descended upon revolutionary France, and thousands are beheaded daily under the guillotine. Edmond Coffin and Jonathan Gravedigger, two former soldiers now employed in disposing of the dead, are hired to search the Parisian neighborhood of Haarlem for a mysterious mixed-race “leopard boy,” whose nickname derives from his mottled black-and-white skin. Some would like to see the elusive leopard boy dead, while others wish to save him. Why so much interest in this child? He is rumored to be the son of Marie-Antoinette and a man of color–the Chevalier de Saint-George, perhaps, or possibly Zamor, the slave of Madame du Barry, mistress of Louis XV.

This wildly imaginative and culturally resonant tale by Daniel Picouly audaciously places black and mixed-race characters–including King Mac, creator of the first hamburger, who hands out figures of Voltaire and Rousseau with his happy meals, and the megalomaniac Black Delorme, creator of a slavery theme park–at the forefront of its Revolution-era story. Winner of the Prix Renaudot, one of France’s most prestigious literary awards, this book envisions a “Black France” two hundred years before the term came to describe a nation transformed through its postcolonial immigrant population.

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