In the Black is a late 2012 collection out of Canada. It launched recently, twice. As part of publisher Insomniac’s Fall release and during a special community launch at A Different Booklist.
I’m reading it right now and I’m liking it, but as one of my stories ‘Man of her Dreams’ is in it, I’m not technically an unbiased source. But so far I’m really liking a little something about almost everything. I’ll share my faves in Blogger on Books when I’m done. I did find one solitary reader review which declared it “a diverse” collection with “a good selection”. Said reader review singled out poems by Dwayne Morgan (“very to the point”) and George Elliot Clarke (“very powerful and vivid”) for special mention. I know it’s only one fan but I was tickled to see that she mentioned my story as well and Althea Prince’s Push (for both the language and emotions) though, full disclosure, my niece during a reading exercise using the book picked Motion’s lovely Locks and Love over mine. The point is that as you read you’ll find your own personal favourites, whether you like your fiction with a little or a lot of drama, comedy, romance, sadness, joy, or something else; whether you like your poetry old school or new, traditional or dub or inflected with the rhythm of hip hop. Point is with In the Black, Althea Prince continues to be one of Antigua and Barbuda’s most prolific while at the same time putting out material that says something, that means something. Check earlier works like Being Black, Feminisms and Womanisms, Ladies of the Night, Loving this Man, and the Politics of Black Women’s Hair (see my thoughts on some of these in the first Blogger on Books). The same week as the launch, she was part of an elite group of writers receiving the Caribbean Canadian literary awards – others were Earl Lovelace, Olive Senior, Ramabai Espinet, Nalo Hopkinson, Dwayne Morgan, Jody Nyasha Warner, and another Antiguan Dr. Carl James.
Althea’s always in good company.
She’s also got a serious network of quality African Canadian writers whom she managed to tap for her freshly pressed collection.
Some, like Catherine Bain, George Elliott Clarke (described as a pioneering scholar for works like Directions Home: Approaches to African Canadian Literature and the poetry collection Blue),
and Dwayne Morgan were new discoveries for me; others like
Clifton Joseph (whose work I’ve previously shared with you here)
and Motion were familiar favourites – and no less enjoyable because of it.
The writers have represented:
Do you have your copy?
Be sure to save some dollars for another forthcoming collection from Prince, this one featuring new Antiguan writing. That too should be launched before the end of the year.
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