Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Toni and Terry Solution

DeBerry and Grant often discuss what they call the Toni-Terry problem: Publishers who don't know what to do with an author who doesn't follow either Toni Morrison's or Terry McMillan's literary models.

I'd like to talk today about the Toni-Terry solution. How Morrison and McMillan support new black authors. Here is video of Morrison talking at the National Black Writers' Conference, which recently took place in Brooklyn (with thanks to Stafford Battle for the video), accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award and encouraging new writers. (For more, read Grace Ali's essay about what the conference meant to young writers.)

Terry McMillan has recently come online on Facebook and Twitter, where she shares writing tips with aspiring authors. She also uses her fame to spread the word about other writers, as she does in this article. She's also quick to send congratulatory notes or leave comments on other writers' Facebook pages if she likes their work. (Her sequel to Waiting to Exhale, Getting to Happy comes out in September!)

Brava and sincere gratitude to both! Would that more writers of their stature would support those who are coming behind them.

In other news....

Poetry Month
Looking for a little poetry to start your day? Try Sonia Sanchez' latest: Morning Haiku.

New and upcoming novels
Lots of good stuff coming soon. Including giveaways! I got a couple of advance readers copies that I will share. I feel a contest coming on. In the meantime, APOOO Book Club always keeps a good list of upcoming releases. Here's their spring/summer list.

Preston Allen has a new novel out called Jesus Boy. Booklist says, "Allen has created a consummate tragicomedy of African American family secrets and sorrows, and of faith under duress and wide open to interpretation. Perfect timing and crackling dialogue, as well as heartrending pain balanced by uproarious predicaments, make for a shout-hallelujah tale of transgression and grace, a gospel of lusty and everlasting love."

I know a lot of you like literary fiction, so don't sleep on this one!


Kwana said...

Thanks so much for this post and video.

evelyn.n.alfred said...

Toni Morrison is adorable. I wish I could put her in my pocket.

Inda Lauryn said...

Please what's the use. If an author hasn't been accepted by the big conglomerates already you don't feel they are worth giving the time of day even if they are giving their work away. THAT'S the reality.

Katrina Spencer said...

An author friend of mine just pointed out that Sonia Sanchez and I have the same book cover. (My book Unbeweavable comes out in July).