Walter Mosley, author of Little Green, the 12th Easy Rawlins novel and the first since 2007′s Blonde Faith, will be the guest on KAZI Book Review’s Monday morning edition at 8am CT Memorial Day on KAZI 88.7 FM.
In the interview Mosley talks about why he took a break from writing the Easy Rawlins mysteries and the source of the hippie culture that Easy encounters in 1967 Los Angeles.
Listen to the podcast of the interview on KAZI Book Review with Elsie Augustave as she explores the currents of identity, racism, class, and culture in her debut novel, The Roving Tree:
The central character, Iris Odys, is adopted by an upperclass white American family in 1961 from a rural village in Haiti. The novel traces her life growing up in America and through flashback, the lives of her parents in Haiti. Augustave paints a vivid picture of the class conflicts, cultural and religious traditions of Haiti in the 1950s and 60s.
For the January edition of KAZI Book Reviews’ Black Lit Radio segment, Koritha Mitchell interviewed playwright Charles Smith. Smith’s plays have been produced Off-Broadway and from coast to coast by theaters such as Indiana Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Jubilee Theatre, Ensemble Theatre in Houston, and Berkeley Repertory Theater. To listen to the interview click here: Koritha Mitchell-Charles Smith Mixdown 1
For the February/Black History Month edition of Black Lit Radio, Koritha and I discussed the work of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison. To listen to the interview click here: Koritha Mitchell-Feb 2013.
Books on the side
Of my bed,
While I cannot snooze,
Which one should I choose
When Oprah Winfrey decided that The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was going to be her February book club selection, it gave poet and first time author Ayana Mathis the kind of publicity one can only dream of. After reading her book and interviewing Ayana, I can only conclude she deserves the praise she is receiving.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie chronicles the challenges an African American family faces trying to find happiness or just some level of contentment as the members battle a range of sorrows and tragedies from 1925 to 1980. The novel opens with tragedy as a young Hattie in 1925 battles to save her infant twins from dying from pneumonia. We learn that Hattie is only 17 and recently moved to Philadelphia from Georgia. With each chapter their is another tragedy, another personal weakness, another affliction for one of the tribes of Hattie to overcome. As we move through the years, ever lurking in the narrative is the role Hattie’s unhappiness has played in the lives of her children.
To listen to my 37 minute interview with Ayana Mathis, click here: Ayana Mathis Interview
Koritha Mitchell debuted on KAZI Book Review’s new monthly segment, Black Lit Radio, with a discussion of the Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larsen’s classic novel Passing. Passing covers the lives of two very light skinned upper middle class African American women who spend part of their lives passing for white. The novel is set in Chicago and New York in the 1920s: Koritha Mitchell Oct. 8, 2012 Black Lit Radio
Koritha Mitchell, is an associate professor of English at Ohio State University. Dr. Mitchell specializes in late
nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American literature, racial violence throughout American literature and culture, and black drama & performance. She has won fellowships from the David Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora, the Ford Foundation, and the AAUW, and her book Living with Lynching (University of Illinois Press, 2011) focuses on black-authored lynching drama written before 1930.
Award winning author Elizabeth Nunez will discuss her latest novel, Boundaries, on October 30 at 12:30 p.m. CST on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM. Set in an unnamed Caribbean Island and New York city, Boundaries explores the dynamics of the relationship book editor Anna Sinclair has with her mother Beatrice who was recently diagnosed with cancer back home on the island. While living in the US for almost 20 years, Anna doesn’t feel fully accepted by Americans, and no longer feels the same ties to her country of birth. Listen to the interview live online at www.kazifm.org.
Nunez is the award-winning author of eight novels. Her last novel, Anna In-Between, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and was selected for the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award. Her other novels include Prospero’s Daughter (2006 Florida Center for the Literary Arts One Book, One Community selection, 2006 Novel of the Year for Black Issues Book Review); and Bruised Hibiscus (American Book Award winner). Nunez was executive producer for the Emmy-nominated TV series Black Writers in America. She is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, CUNY, where she teaches creative writing and fiction. She divides her time between Amityville, New York, and Brooklyn.
Evelyn Palfrey, author of Going Home, “a marvelously mature romance novel”, is the first guest on the June 19 edition of KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. central time. Palfrey will be appearing at the 5th Annual Austin African American Book Festival on June 25 at the Carver Library and Museum. The second guest is Christopher Chabris, co-author of The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intentions Deceive Us. Listen live online at kazifm.org.
Going Home By Evelyn Palfrey
Set in Austin shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Going Home’s plot revolves around Thalia Allen, a recently retired state agency worker who strikes up a romance with a Katrina evacuee Joe Lambert. She meets Lambert at the Austin Convention where she is doing volunteer work to help the Katrina victims. Lambert is torn between staying in Austin with his new found love Thalia, and going back to New Orleans to rebuild the construction business he left behind.
Palfrey is the author of the trilogy Three Perfect Men, The Price of Passion, and Dangerous Dilemmas–the stories of three college roommates, 25 years later; and the grandmommy romance, Everything In Its Place. Evelyn’s writing has been described as “superb storytelling.” is a native Texan, a graduate of Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas Law School. She is an avid motorhomer and gardener, and is active with the Writers League of Texas and the Austin Romance Writers of America. She has been writing fiction since 1995.
The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons
In The Invisible Gorilla, the authors use a wide assortment of stories and counterintuitive scientific findings to reveal an important truth: Our minds don’t work the way we think they do. We think we see ourselves and the world as they really are, but we’re actually missing a whole lot.
They combine the work of other researchers with their findings on attention, perception, memory, and reasoning to reveal how faulty intuitions often get us into trouble. In the process, they explain:
- Why a company would spend billions to launch a product that its own analysts know will fail
- How a police officer could run right past a brutal assault without seeing it
- Why award-winning movies are full of editing mistakes
- What criminals have in common with chess masters
- Why measles and other childhood diseases are making a comeback
- Why money managers could learn a lot from weather forecasters
Chris Chabris received his B.A. in computer science and his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University, where he was also a Lecturer and Research Associate for many years. He is now Assistant Professor of Psychology at Union College in Schenectady, New York, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurology at Albany Medical College, and a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. His research focuses on two main areas: how people differ from one another in mental abilities and patterns of behavior, and how cognitive illusions affect our decisions.
Varian Johnson, author of Saving Maddie, was a guest on the May 1 edition of KAZI Book Review at 12:30 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM. Listen to a podcast of the interview by clicking here: Varian Johnson Interview.
He is also the author of My Life as a Rhombus (2008) and A Red Polka Dot in a World Full of Plaid ( 2005). He was born and raised in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. Varian later attended the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.
Varian now lives in Austin, TX with his wife, Crystal, and is a member of SCBWI, the Writers’ League of Texas, and The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN). Varian is also the co-founder of The Brown Bookshelf, an online community charged with highlighting established and up-and-coming African-American authors of children’s and young adult literature.
Laurie Maffly-Kipp, co-editor of Women’s Work: An Anthology of African-American Women’s Historical Writings from Antebellum America to the Harlem Renaissance, is a guest on KAZI Book Review, Sunday, Feb 20, 12:30 p.m. on KAZI 88.7FM. Listen live online at kazifm.org.
This book surveys the creative ways in which African-American women harnessed the power of print to share their historical revisions with a broader public. Their speeches, textbooks, poems, and polemics did more than just recount the past. They also protested their present status in the United States through their reclamation of that past. Bringing together work by more familiar writers in black America-such as Maria Stewart, Francis E. W. Harper, and Anna Julia Cooper-as well as lesser-known mothers and teachers who educated their families and their communities, this documentary collection gathers a variety of primary texts from the antebellum era to the Harlem Renaissance, some of which have never been anthologized. Together with a substantial introduction to black women’s historical writings, this volume presents a unique perspective on the past and imagined future of the race in the United States.