Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There are other non-white writers?

Great minds think alike. Alisa Alering's blog is exploring all kinds of ways we can read outside the box. Including this post on "Reading Outside Myself" with links to books written in languages besides English and this post with links on African American, Asian, Latino, and Native American writers. She also has a link for gay authors (who may or may not be white).

And the New York Daily News recently ran a list of favorite books of 2008 by Latino authors. Thanks to author Alicia Valdes-Rodriguez for the link.


Patricia W. said...

If I may suggest a few I've read in recent years, how about Anjali Banerjee (Invisible Lives), Amulya Malladi (The Sound of Language), Margo Candela (Underneath It All, and more recently, Nadine Dajani (Cutting Loose). I thoroughly enjoyed all of these non-white, non-AA writers.

Moanerplicity said...

This review is from amazon.com for my novel:

Manhood, by L.M. Ross

"With the 1987 death of legendary author and civil rights activist, James Baldwin, a void in the world of renowned African-American male novelists made its huge descent on us. Gone was Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and then Ralph Ellison in 1994, leaving the market open for 'heir apparents', gifted male African-American writers who could create works of fiction that were both painstakingly beautiful and socially relevant.

What happened instead, following the early literary success of Terry McMillan (author of the best-seller "Waiting to Exhale"), was hundreds of authors (male and female) who started churning out "literature for profit" in the 4-character model fashioned by McMillan, often at the expense of developing works of art that would withstand time and be recognized for their unique contribution to American culture.

The release of "Manhood: The Longest Moan" by author/poet L.M. Ross marks a much needed return to exceptional literature by an African-American writer in 20 years. This multi-dimensional, emotionally cathartic work easily puts Ross in the same category as James Baldwin, who wrote such classics as The Fire Next Time, Go Tell It On The Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, Giovanni's Room, Sonny's Blues, Another Country and Just Above My Head (my personal favorite). In hindsight, reading "Manhood" was very much like reading each of the aforementioned novels in one setting, a testament to the strength of Ross's writing style.

Like Baldwin, Ross has a creative way of exploring complex social and psychological issues of our time (personal and self identity, sexuality, family abuse, drug addicion, sexual deviance, HIV/AIDS) and branding them with his own uniquely urban, funky stamp of revelation. To his credit, Ross takes the politically correct dichotomy we painstakingly try to uphold and makes it a living, breathing character.

Through the primary characters Tyrone Hunter, Pascal "Face" Depina, David Richmond, Faison "Browny" Brown, Ross takes readers through an incredible, mind stretching journey of family, friendship, betrayal and murder that spans a 20-year period.

Creatively using metaphors, images, and sometimes apparitions, Ross's "Manhood" is an INCREDIBLE story by a gifted writer whose words express the tightly woven tapestry of humanity that lives in all of us

Tyrone, a reflective renaissance artist, finds himself tormented for years by the brutal and untimely murder of his lover. Face, a tragically beautiful ambiguous creature, is a deeply flawed and tortured soul that has adopted a "life mask" in order to survive. David, the dancer that put the "D" in the word, is the ultimate example of the Madonna-Whore complex that lurks in all of us. Browny, a singer whose vocal cords have been kissed by the angels, deals with personal demons of insecurity dating back to his upbringing that inhibits his ability to share his gift with the world.

A word of caution is in order: you won't just read "Manhood" as an objective outsider; you will become part of the storyline as Ross literally puts you in the shoes of his primary and secondary characters. As I read this great work, I found myself consciously indulged in examining my own biases against my fellow man or stripping away emotions I had erected in my life for survival. So this novel, in addition to being great literature, was soul revealing...

With the introduction of well-developed supporting characters in the storylines (as well as New York City as its own living, breathing character), Ross successfully pulls a fait accompli by making Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" (i.e., mankind in all its diversity) visible again through the writing of "Manhood." Yes, "the truth is the light and light is the truth."

Review by Linus Spiller

martha said...

Hey, all,

James Hannaham's "God Says No" isn't due out until June or July 09--I had the wrong date. Will post more info as I have it.

Carleen Brice said...

Patricia, Nadine and I are in the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit together, so I definitely have to check her book out!