We’re just kidding. Everyone knows that’s Kadida Jones.

Posted by Lizzie on 10/05/05

Look: some jackass thought CREE SUMMER was Zadie Smith!

Filed under: Lit-ish |

Ghetto Lit

Posted by Lizzie on 09/29/05

For most African American writers, this section is the only way that they will connect with the browsers, the mostly African American readers who go out of their way to read books by black authors. I have read the arguments against these sections, usually by white readers who were looking for the work of some famous black author like Toni Morrison and were dismayed to be led to The Colored Section. Each time I read such an account, I am painfully aware that the reader has been browsing the bookstore for years before noticing that the “literature” section is all white.

Tayari Jones, author of The Untelling, is discussing The Colored Section of the bookstore over at Maud’s. This was a hot topic in our meta Af-Am lit class while we were in college — a discussion of how the shelf ghetto both serves and stigmatizes an author. (And one that led to many a parry beginning with, “Well, I know my maid Rita…”)
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Don’t get us started on the revival of the tragic mulatto

Posted by Lizzie on 05/12/05

We just plopped down after a long day of work, lamenting the brilliant blog post we’d lost somewhere around 8:30 this morning and would now NEVER REMEMBER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH NEW JOB, when damned if MAUD DIDN’T HAVE THE SAME THOUGHTS WE HAD complete with a Grace Paley mention and all. Which is to say, we can take Grace Paley or leave her, but the more Irish and soda bread-eating our friends, the more they like Grace Paley. Whereas mandelbrot-us is like Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha, pass some Alice Munro so we can read about the great Canadian Wilderness, the one so not-very-important to any of our myriad people!

We don’t mind the previous generation doing whatever they needed to do, but when we see someone writing about their old Jewish grandparents we’re like GOD, CAN’T YOU LET YOUR FREAKING RELATIVES LIE IN THEIR GRAVES UNDISTURBED, and then we think about how if we wrote about our late Grandma Dora it would be an offense to her masterful chopped liver, which is better than anything we could say about it.

One summer at the Sewanee Writers Conference, our desperate choppedliveritude was smacked in our face when we sat enjoying a story about a certain Roy the Palm-Reading Chicken that pecked by the side of a very southern road. Around us, writers were fidgeting and coughing as we laughed, and, afterwards, when we told a deep-fried friend we’d thought it was funny, he sighed and said, “You wouldn’t, if you lived down here.”

Anyway, just go listen to Nicole Krauss read those poems. See if you can. Seriously.* **

* We know we’ll pay for this when our terrible book of poetry comes out, but we’re getting the jump on it and sending advance copies to certain Amazon reviewers.

** And, since we’re going Shiksa to Sabra with Maud today, we’ll take her “Bless your heart” and raise her one “He should live and be well.”

Filed under: Lit-ish |

Living Out of my Mind

Posted by Lizzie on 03/23/05

We haven’t weighed in — and, btw, fellow lit-bloggers, we would like to issue a moratorium on saying ‘weigh in’ or ‘weighed in’, as it makes us sound like a bunch of pudgy pedants around a fake-oak table on a 70’s political talk show — on the Ayelet Waldman brouhaha ( do you want us to STEAL ALL OF MAUD’S LINKS or just link to them, like an honest blogger?) yet, but, in true Ayelettian fashion, we feel like it and we’re going to, fuckers. We weren’t big fans of Ayelet’s blog, and we’re probably not going to be big readers of her Salon column. But we’re going to go ahead and take issue with — yes, co-litbloggers, we are nominating “take issue with” as the replacement for “weighed in on,” at least for the foreseeable future — her general vilification.

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