Writers Who Love Too Much book launch at City Lights, San Fran

book cover, WRITERS WHO LOVE TOO MUCH: NEW NARRATIVE 1977-1997, edited by Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian
Newly published WRITERS WHO LOVE TOO MUCH: NEW NARRATIVE 1977-1997, edited by Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian

Nightboat Books has just published Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977-1997, an anthology of stories, essays, plays, and other writing edited by Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy. A kool cover by Brett Reichman, too. A lot of the writers are West Coast people, LA and San Fransciso (I really miss both cities), some East Coast, and some have got to be in-between, but if they are, I have yet to discover it.

City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, CA
City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, CA

Anyway, I’ve just started reading Writers Who Love and have begun with Gabrielle Daniels’ essay on Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson, “the first novel by an African American woman” to be published in the US. Our Nig was published in 1859 and I read this book over a decade ago. It’s on my shelf now. It’s amazing. My girlfriend at the time, Susan, asked me to remove it from the shelves because the title is outrageous, offensive, and needs explaining. But in 1859 it was not. I kept it on the shelf – maybe I moved it to a more private part of the house (I don’t remember). I was always the only person I knew who read this book. The daily life of a Black woman in 1850s New England. Rough, to say the least.

book cover, Our Nig; or, Sketched from the Life of a Free Black by Harriet E. Wilson (1859)
Our Nig; or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black by Harriet E. Wilson (1859)

Henry Louis Gates has also discovered this book, and with his skills at finding people from the past, has tried to find Harriet Wilson to learn about her history, the writing of the novel, and anything else he can find about it. His claim is that it is absolutely the first African American women’s novel. 

Daniels’ essay is bringing Our Nig back to me and as soon as I’m finished reading it I’ll read the book again. Yes, the title is harsh in 21st Century America – I kind of agree with Susan – but the book’s important!

There’s lots more in Writers Who Love Too Much! My summer reading. It’s a sexy, scholarly (sorry, I don’t find academics very sexy, either, but I find scholarship to be pretty sexy), writerly history of New Narrative. 

Thanks to Kevin and Dodie for including me! I am humbled and also kinda proud, too.

Read about the City Lights Books book launch of Writers Who Love Too Much.

Maybe buy a copy, either from Nightboat Books, the publisher, or from amazon.com. Either way, you’re bound to be rewarded.

There’s Something Happening Here

I’m working with artist David D. Kalal on a conversation in animated gifs. These two are the latest.

My second animated gif for Inbetweentheories.com, a non-theoretical critical response to contemporary culture

 

animated gif in support of whistle-blowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden
My third gif for Inbetweentheories.com. I am enjoying data bending & glitching images, but the next one will be DIFFERENT!

Our website is Inbewteentheories.com. Visit us!

 

 

Parijat Desai Dance Company at Harlem Stage

I went to Harlem Stage last night to see Parijat Desai’s performance of her piece JustLikeThat. It was intelligent, fantastic, and the dancers are amazing. Thank you, Parijat! 

The choreography presented a riff on the news – the who, what, when, where, why and how – journalism with Indian and American influences, ultimately about the collusion of mass media and corrupt politicians to more or less not inform the public of what’s really going on with the people who pull the strings.

Well, I’m not describing it very well! Go see it for yourself!

Here’s a clip from a previous iteration – this piece keeps evolving:

and here’s an interview with Parijat Desai

Get tickets for tonight’s show at 7:30 here  >> http://harlemstage.org/331-48-730pme-moves-18/

Other choreographers presenting works include Leyland Simmons (Dance Theater of Harlem), Francesca Harper, and Kyle Marshall