Review: North and Central by Bob Hartley

Review: North and Central by Bob Hartley

Black History Month: “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (1937). This novel from the Harlem Renaissance has gained in popularity in the last 30 years or so, since Alice Walker wrote an essay called “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston.” From the Zora Neale Hurston Web site: The epic tale of Janie Crawford, whose quest forContinue reading “Black History Month: “Their Eyes Were Watching God””

Black History Month: “Apex Hides the Hurt”

Colson Whitehead’s 2006 novel “Apex Hides the Hurt” once again delves into issues of race and identity through a “nomenclature consultant” hired to help rename the town of Winthrop so it can be revived for the 21st century, but who is also going through his own crisis having named a successful but shoddy product, Apex,Continue reading “Black History Month: “Apex Hides the Hurt””

Black History Month: Chester Himes

These two novels by Chester Himes, written about 12 years apart, show a bit of a transformation of a novelist who never felt like he fit in. “If He Hollers Let Him Go” tells the story of a black L.A. dockworker, a leader, who supervises both blacks and whites, and feel racism every step ofContinue reading “Black History Month: Chester Himes”

Black History Month: “Fledgling”

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler is another recommendation from Eleanor at Flights of Fantasy in Loudonville. She writes: Fledgling was the last novel of the recently deceased Octavia Butler (she died a year ago today), who received a MacArthur genius grant. She was a really good author and Fledgling is a really good vampire novel,Continue reading “Black History Month: “Fledgling””

Black History Month: Gloria Naylor

Gloria Naylor is perhaps best known for her novels. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature says: One of the first African American women writers who has studied both her African ancestors and the European tradition, Naylor consciously draws on Western sources even as her writings reflect the complexity of the African American female experience.Continue reading “Black History Month: Gloria Naylor”

Black History Month: “Flight to Canada”

Ishmael Reed’s 1976 novel Flight to Canada is many things: a slave narrative of escape (though it includes buses and planes), a satire, a comedy. This is what the publisher says: Brilliantly portrayed by a novelist with “a talent for hyperbole and downright yarning unequaled since Mark Twain”, (Saturday Review), this slave’s-eye view of theContinue reading “Black History Month: “Flight to Canada””

Black History Month: June Jordan

Here’s a poem from the poet, essayist, author and educator June Jordan, who lived from 1936 to 2002 and was influential in the Black Arts movement and beyond. The poem is taken from the Web site Chicken Bones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American themes: I Must Become A Menace to My Enemies DedicatedContinue reading “Black History Month: June Jordan”

Black History Month: “Brown Girl in the Ring”

Nalo Hopkinson’s “Brown Girl in the Ring” was first published in 1998. Here’s a summary of the story written by Eleanor at Flights of Fantasy bookstore in Loudonville: Brown Girl in the Ring was Nalo Hopkinson’s first novel, and still my favourite. It’s set in a future Canada where the cities have decayed into chaos,Continue reading “Black History Month: “Brown Girl in the Ring””