Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You're invited!

Welcome readers of all races, shapes and sizes. Here is where you'll be safely, carefully introduced to books written by black people. Now, don't be alarmed. The books are written by black people, but like other books, they can be read by anybody. In fact, we WANT you to read our books. Don't let the fact that publishers and booksellers put us in the back in the special section of the store scare you. They do that because they want African American readers to be able to find us easily, which is a good thing. However, it has come to our attention that it also puts some of the rest of you off.


So we are extending an official invitation for you to check out our section of the bookstore. Much like in the rest of the bookstore you'll find books about thugs, hos, murder, revenge, sex, sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, husbands and wives, children, and God. You'll find romance, mystery, deep thoughts about the meaning of life and death, tear-jerkers and belly laughs.


I'm foreseeing actual in-store parties around the country one day. But first our humble little blog here will introduce you to some of the writers you may never otherwise know about, but I promise you will like. At least, I promise you will like or hate as much as any other writer or any other book you'll find in the rest of the store.


Please stop back here every Tuesday for news and introductions. Please leave suggestions in the comments for books you'd like to see introduced here.

18 comments:

Lafreya said...

How great. I was going to do Books White People Should Like on my blog but this is wonderful. For literary fiction I think you should start with Erasure by Percival Everett. Actually anything by Perciaval Everett.

Carleen Brice said...

L, still please do that post and I'll link to it!

DeBerry and Grant said...

Great idea! We'll post a link to this and maybe repost the blog we did last year on the subject...

Will be checking on Tuesdays!
V&D

Anonymous said...

Carleen, what category best describes your book? Literary?

Carleen Brice said...

Hey V&D, that would be great. I'll link to your post too. The more people in the discussion the better.

Anon, I think "upmarket fiction" is what the industry is calling books that bridge the gap between literary and commercial fiction.

Rekaya Gibson said...

Carleen,
What a great concept. I want
all kinds of people to read my book. I want to be seen as an author, not a black author. Thank you.

Rekaya Gibson, Author
The Food Temptress
www.foodtemptress.com

Shauna Roberts said...

What a great idea! As I've said before, I feel nervous and guilty going into the AA section of a bookstore, as if I'm not supposed to be there. And once I'm there, I don't know what books or authors to look for.

I love learning about authors and great books I'm not familiar with, so I'll be stopping by here regularly. I'll also post something on my blog about this next week.

I'd be particularly interested in hearing about science fiction, fantasy, and horror books, as well as what you call "upmarket fiction."

Shauna Roberts said...

I'd also be interested in learning about books suitable for my teenage nieces and nephews.

Paula said...

Really like this idea and plan to cross post on my blog.
@ Shauna, if you're looking for YA and MG check out :www.thebrownbookshelf.com a site specializing in highlighting children's books revolved around African American characters.

Shauna Roberts said...

Paula, thanks for the tip. I'm going over there right now.

saraphen said...

I love it. I'll even send a copy of my book to my grandson's teacher.

Anne said...

Great, great, great. A wonderful idea introduced w/great wit. I always want people to read Tayari Jones.

And if African lit counts, I am an Ama Ata Aidoo fan: *Changes* and *Our Sister Killjoy* are both really terrific: I've definitely sent them around...

Doret said...

I really enjoyed Orange Mint and Honey. If I didn't already have two Nina Simone CD's I would've had to buy one after reading your book, though I was still tempted to get a third. Your book made the staff picks wall at my bookstore, but that was Toni's doing she read it before me.

Rebecca Walker said...

Great idea! I have a friend who just wrote a piece about how much impact black writers have had on his work (he's white). Of course, he's having a hard time getting it picked up and he's not quite the blogging type--but I'm going to forward the link. Peace.

Carleen Brice said...

Rekaya, I have mixed feelings about it myself. I have a VAST and great appreciation for the Af Am readers who support our books, even sometimes not even reading them, just buying them to help a sister or brother out. It's a beautiful thing. But it saddens me that their loyal support can be the only thing that sells a book sometimes.

Shauna, I applaud you for your openness and honesty! Really, thank you for saying on the record what so many others clearly also feel. We're going to try our best to make you feel welcome and wanted, because you are!

Paula, Thanks for bringing children's lit into the discussion. Let's start 'em young!

Anne, I know: Tayari is always at the top of any list for any reader, right?! Sure, let's include African lit too. Far be it from me to define what makes a "black book" or a "black author."

Doret, THANK YOU!! Booksellers are the best! Tell Toni thanks too!!

Rebecca, I'd love to read your friend's article. It only makes sense really-we've influenced so many other arts, why not literature?

readingwhileblack said...

Great blog! I can't wait to see more.

Anonymous said...

I introduced my daughter to poets like Langston Hughs, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou. I love poetry... all kinds of poetry.

She in turn Introduced me to some of her favorite black authors including Octavia Butler

Pamela Oliver said...

Dear Carleen,
I want to let you know this site worked for me. As a White woman, I've read quite a few of the famous-to-Whites Black authors, but due to your site I have bought works by several new authors I never would have heard of otherwise, including you. I just finished Orange Mint and Honey in audio, which I really liked. I hope you will feel good about keeping up the outreach work. I'll post the link on my blog.