Personally I've heard many good things about these books. I haven't read them, but I've heard good things. Many people have heard good things. But have they read these?
Probably not. It's publishing's dirty little secret: segbookgation (you gotta love it when people try to make a pun serious!) You know, that marketing strategy where you take all the books by Black authors, and instead of censoring them or not publishing them at all (like the good ol' days!) you give them their own nice little corner. So what you have is a corner of black authors writing different genres (from erotica to mysteries to literary) and overall ignored by everyone except teenagers who want to get that new Zane book, with the cumshot at the beginning (not that cumshots are all together bad). And yes, it does have cumshot in the beginning.
It's that corner that no one passes. It's the dirty urban fiction area, where no literate person would be caught dead in. It's partly because the covers--the ones hot pink and black with a half naked black girl. Those eyes telling you that's she might be a slut. And there's nothing wrong with being a slut. But when you learn that the other girls in the "general erotica and romance" section are dressed in suits, that they have perfectly done highlights, and they are stubborn, but willing to fall in love if only the right cowboy comes along, you see the problem. You see: segbookgation.
Bernice McFadden, is the phenomenon of "Publishers...[placing] all African-American authors in one box, forcing them to compete for the attention of ONE audience." Comparatively, Nora Roberts would never be in the same section as Joyce Carol Oates. Sylvia Day would never be in the same section as Henry James. Yet we have Toni Morrison next to Mary B Morrison. Zora Neale Hurston just a few books away with a title like Between My Thighs (classy!)
Anyways, some gift ideas for BABBABAAGITSNB Month:
- Read everything by Toni Morrison. Read it. Love it.
- An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah (winner of the Guardian First Book Award)
- No More Tomorrow by Rodney Lofton (token gay)
- Push by Sapphire (everyone is reading this already, thanks to Oprah)
- Miss Muriel and Other Stories by Ann Petry (yea! short stories!)
- A Piece of Mine by J. California Cooper (yea! more short stories)
- Six Easy Pieces by Walter Mosley (even more short stories!)
- The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (short stories!!!)
- Dhalgren by Samuel Delany (other token gay--sci-fi style!)
- Sugar by Bernice McFadden