Archive

Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

PODCAST: Lawrence Jackson Discusses Biography of Black Author Chester Himes

September 17, 2017 Leave a comment

In Lawrence Jackson’s monumental biography, CHESTER B. HIMES, readers are introduced to one of the most prolific and underrated Black writers of the 20th century.   Himes, who lived from 1909-1984, was the author of 17 novels and numerous short stories.  Himes was a black literary realist who used fiction to honestly express the rage he felt at racism, despite the criticism of some of his contemporaries that his perspective was too bleak.  It was his Harlem detective novels that paved the path for enduring financial success as two of those novels were made into movies in the 1970s, Cotton Comes to Harlem and Come Back Charleston Blue.

Lawrence P. Jackson is a Professor of English and History at Johns Hopkins University and also the author of RALPH ELLISON: Emergence of Genius.

 

Advertisements

PODCAST: Vanessa Valdes Discusses Biography of Arturo Schomburg

September 17, 2017 Leave a comment

In Vanessa K. Valdes new book, DIASPORIC BLACKNESS, she examines the life of Black Puerto Rican–born scholar, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, (1874–1938) was a well-known collector and archivist whose personal library was the basis of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. Born in 1874, Schomburg cofounded the Negro Society for Historical Research and lead the American Negro Academy, all the while collecting and assembling books, prints, pamphlets, articles, and other ephemera produced by Black men and women from across the Americas and Europe. His curated library collection at the New York Public Library emphasized the presence of African peoples and their descendants throughout the Americas and would serve as an indispensable resource for the luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.

Vanessa K. Valdés is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the City College of New York, City University of New York. She is the editor of Let Spirit Speak! Cultural Journeys through the African Diaspora and the author of Oshun’s Daughters: The Search for Womanhood in the Americas, She currently serves as Book Review Editor of s/x salon, an online literary salon on Caribbean literature and culture.

New Biography of Arturo Schomburg by Vanessa Valdés 

June 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Jack London: The Fiction Writer As Social Reformer

November 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Cecelia TichiIn Cecelia Tichi’s new book Jack London: A Writer’s Fight For A Better America, she argues that London used characters and plot in his novels such as Call of the Wild and the Sea Lord not only as entertainment, but also as a way to illuminate the oppression of workers in industrial America and other unfair social conditions in the early 1900s.  London, who was the best selling author in America from 1903 to his death in 1916, mined his experiences as a laborer often working in harsh conditions to bring social reality to his popular adventure novels.  Tune in Monday at 8 a.m. CST/9 a.m. EST to KAZI Book Review for my interview.

Book Description

Jack London (1876-1916) found fame with his wolf-dog tales and sagas of the frozen North, but Cecelia Tichi challenges the long-standing view of London as merely a mass-market producer of potboilers. A onetime child laborer, London led a life of poverty in the Gilded Age before rising to worldwide acclaim for stories, novels, and essays designed to hasten the social, economic, and political advance of America. In this major reinterpretation of London’s career, Tichi examines how the beloved writer leveraged his written words as a force for the future.
Tracing the arc of London’s work from the late 1800s through the 1910s, Tichi profiles the writer’s allies and adversaries in the cities, on the factory floor, inside prison walls, and in the farmlands. Thoroughly exploring London’s importance as an artist and as a political and public figure, Tichi brings to life a man who merits recognition as one of America’s foremost public intellectuals.

Author Bio

KAZI Host Moderating Texas Book Festival Panel on Racial Identity Sunday

October 16, 2015 Leave a comment
Allyson Hobbs

Allyson Hobbs

This Sunday at 12:15 p.m. come join Allyson Hobbs and James McGrath Morris at the Texas Book Festival as they share their investigations into the tumultuous history of racial identity in the U.S. in their respective works, A CHOSEN EXILE: A History of Racial Passing in American Life and EYE ON THE STRUGGLE: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press.  KAZI Book Review host Hopeton Hay will moderate the discussion.

Allyson Hobbs Bio

Allyson Hobbs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Stanford University.  Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press in October 2014, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present.  A CHOSEN EXILE won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award for best first book in American History and the Lawrence Levine Award for best book in American cultural history.

James McGrath Morris

James McGrath Morris

James McGrath Morris Bio

James McGrath Morris is an author of biographies and narrative nonfiction.  His newest works are the New York Times Bestselling EYE ON THE STRUGGLE: Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press and the SINGLE REVOLUTION BY MURDER: Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and the Plot to Kill Henry Clay Frick. His works include Pulitzer: A LIFE IN POLITICS, PRINT, and POWER—which the Wall Street Journal deemed was one of the five best books on American and THE ROSE MAN OF SING SING: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism—a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Morris spent a decade as a journalist, a decade working in the book and magazine business, and a decade as a high school teacher.

A Taste of Texas Book Festival Authors Featured on KAZI Book Review

October 10, 2015 Leave a comment
Attica Locke

Attica Locke

KAZI Book Review will feature excerpts from interviews with four authors appearing at the Texas Book Festival on the October 11 edition of KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM:

James McGrath Morris photo by Patty Morris

James McGrath Morris

  • Attica Locke, author of the novel PLEASANTVILLE, a murder mystery set in 1996 revolving around a campaign to elect Houston’s first black mayor,
  • James McGrath Morris, author of EYE ON THE STRUGGLE, a biography of the Black newspaper white house correspondent Ethel Payne,
  • Laila Lalami, author of a historical novel about the first Black to explore America, THE MOORS ACCOUNT, and
  • Laila Lalami

    Laila Lalami

    Vu Tran, author of a mystery novel about the search for an enigmatic Vietnamese woman, DRAGONFISH.

    Vu Tran

    Vu Tran

The Texas Book Festival is October 17-18 and more information about all the authors appearing is available at texasbookfestival.org.

Be sure to tune in Monday, October 12, for the Monday edition of KAZI Book Review which will feature an interview with Wendell Pierce, author of a memoir about his efforts to rebuild the New Orleans neighborhood he grew up in after Hurricane Katrina, THE WIND IN THE REEDS: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken.

PODCAST: Shawn Leigh Alexander Interview on New Biography of W.E.B. Du Bois

September 8, 2015 Leave a comment

If you missed my interview with Shawn Alexander, author of W.E.B. DU BOIS: An American Intellectual and Activist, you can listen to the podcast: