A rare event: A black American novelist on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. It happened in 2007 to Michael Thomas. And this week, to Colson Whitehead in a laudatory, thoughtful review by Toure of his newest novel Sag Harbor.
Whitehead's work, in particular, seems to bring out the philosophical in those who write about it, that which considers what it means to be a "black writer," perhaps because of his sturdy unwillingness to be pigeonholed, to apologize and because of his intellectualism. Sag Harbor is being hailed as his most emotional, "sentimental" book. You can see Whitehead talk about the book himself here.
We at Ringshout are also interested in Toure's call for more "post-black" fiction. Can it only be written by folks under 40 (a note from Martha Southgate: as a 48-year-old novelist, I like to think the answer is no)? What does it mean? Do we need to define it? Should we quit worrying about all this and simply write what we like? Thoughts are welcome.
Cloister Ekphrastic Free Verse
4 months ago