Archive for the ‘African American Literature’ Category

Early Morning Reading – Pleasantville by Attica Locke

April 21, 2015 Leave a comment

PLEASANTVILLE, the sequel to Attica Locke’s first novel, BLACK WATER RISING, features the return of attorney Jay Porter, now a widower with two children struggling to cope with the recent death of his wife.  Set in Houston, Texas in 1996, Porter becomes embroiled in a case involving politics, corruption and murder centered in the real life neighborhood of Pleasantville, one of Houston’s oldest black subdivisions.  For native black Houstonians, Pleasantville may be best known as the political base of the city’s elected black city council member, Judson Robinson, Jr. 


Novel Focused on Black Family in Detroit – THE TURNER HOUSE

April 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Tune in to KAZI 88.7FM Monday at 8am CST/9am EST for my interview with Angela Flournoy, author of the new novel, THE TURNER HOUSE.   THE TURNER HOUSE is a wonderful Black family saga set in Detroit primarily in 2008 with some flashback scenes featuring the parents.  While the thirteen Turner siblings have some major issues from the oldest being haunted by a haint and the youngest being addicted to gambling, the novel maintains a hopeful tone.

Angela Flournoy is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received a Dean’s Fellowship, and the University of Southern California. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University, and has worked for the Washington, D.C. Public Library. She was raised in Southern California by a mother from Los Angeles and a father from Detroit.  


Photo by LaToya T. Duncan


Early Morning Reading – Asali Solomon and Philip Kerr 

April 14, 2015 Leave a comment


 I’m reading Asali Solomon, author of the new novel DISGRUNTLED and Philip Kerr, author of the new novel THE LADY FROM ZAGRED.

I’ll be interviewing Asali live on KAZI Book Review Sunday at 12:30pm on KAZI 88.7FM along with Tim Staley, executive director of the Austin Public Library Foundation. Asali will be one of the featured authors at the New Fiction Confab  Readings and Conversations event at the Austin Faulk Central Library on April 25, 2 pm. – 4:30 p.m.

I’m taping an interview with Philip Kerr Thursday morning which will be broadcast later this month.  Kerr, who lives in England, is currently on tour in the U.S.

The Zero Degree Zombie Zone Book Interview March 15 at 12:30pm CST

March 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Maya Hay’s interview with Patrik Henry Bass, author of the children’s book, THE ZERO DEGREE ZOMBIE ZONE, airs tomorrow at 12:30pm CST on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7FM. Patrik is the editorial projects coordinator at Essence Magazine.  Watch Maya’s summary of the book.

New Books from Angela Flournoy and Nancy Bilyeau

March 10, 2015 Leave a comment

This morning I started reading Angela Flournoy’s novel, THE TURNER HOUSE, which comes out April 14, and THE TAPESTRY by Nancy Bilyeau, which comes out March 21.

THE TURNER HOUSE is a Black family saga about the 13 children of the ailing matriarch Viola Turner, coming to terms with their pasts as they try to decide how to handle their mother’s house which is worth a lot less than the mortgage on it in an ailing neighborhood of Detroit in 2008.

THE TAPESTRY is the third book in a trilogy set during the reign of King Henry VIII featuring a Dominican novice trying to navigate the treacherous times after the King abolished the Catholic church.

Interview Monday With Lalita Tademy

December 28, 2014 Leave a comment

IMG_0286Tune in to KAZI 88.7 FM on Monday at 8am CT (immediately after the news) for my interview with Lalita Tademy, author of CITIZENS CREEK. Tademy, the New York Times bestselling author of CANE RIVER, tells “an evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage.” Evelyn Martin Anderson cohosted the interview.

Lalita Tademy

Lalita Tademy

Lalita Tademy is the New York Times Bestselling author of three historical novels. Her debut, CANE RIVER, was Oprah’s summer Book Pick in 2001, translated into 11 languages, and became San Francisco’s One City, One Book in 2007. Stanford University recently selected Cane River as assigned reading for all incoming freshmen in 2015. Her second novel, Red River, was released to critical acclaim in 2007.  Born in Berkeley, California, far from her parents’ southern roots, both her mother and father made sure their household (Louisiana West) maintained a definite non-California edge, including a steady supply of grits, gumbo, cornbread, and collard greens, and a stream of other transplanted southerners eager to share their “back-home” stories. Some version of those tales seem to steal their way into whatever she writes.

Podcast: Authors Discuss Insight to Langston Hughes’s Work Revealed By Letters

June 10, 2014 Leave a comment

My Dear BoyThere is much to be learned about the art of Langston Hughes from reading  letters between Hughes and his mother revealed Carmaletta Williams and John Edgar Tidwell, authors of My Dear Boy: Carrie Hughes’s Letters to Langston Hughes, 1926–1938, on the June 9 edition of KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM.

Williams and Tidwell explained that the more than 120 heretofore unexamined letters presented in their book are a veritable treasure trove of insights into the relationship between mother Carrie and her renowned son Langston. Until now, a scholarly consensus had begun to emerge, accepting the idea of their lives and his art as simple and transparent. But as Williams and Tidwell argue, this correspondence is precisely where scholars should start in order to understand the underlying complexity in Carrie and Langston’s relationship.

Carmaletta Williams, professor of English and African American studies at Johnson County Community College, is the author of Langston Hughes in the Classroom: “Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me” and Of Two Spirits: American Indian and African American Oral Histories. John Edgar Tidwell is a professor of English at the University of Kansas. His previous books include Montage of a Dream: The Art and Life of Langston Hughes, After Winter: The Art and Life of Sterling A. Brown, and Writings of Frank Marshall Davis: A Voice of the Black Press.

To listen to the interview click here:


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