This is going to be a LONG day…I’ve got a career day presentation in Long Island City this morning, then a tour of historic Greenwood Cemetery with a friend from Canada, then there’s a tribute to June Jordan up in Harlem, and the day ends with a celebration of the Crown Heights Oral History Project. But the best way to start this day is by reading a really insightful review of Wish over at Book Gazing…many thanks to Jodie for considering how expressions of justifiable rage by my black characters may have disturbed white editors, leading them to pass on my manuscript:
Honesty like this, sometimes coupled with vital, unapologetic anger pervades the first section of ‘A Wish After Midnight’. Elliott is not afraid to show the extent of the dislike many of the characters have for white people, or America. Elliott allows her characters their anger and avoids stifling their views by making them learn a lesson about how nice white people can be. Elliott’s characters are allowed to feel angry, because they have a right to feel angry and Elliott never intends their story to be a simple learning journey that will teach them the harmfulness of anger. I can’t help but wonder if that untamed anger was another aspect of Elliott’s book that caused publishers to balk. If it was it was a massive mistake on their part because that honest, non-judgemental approach to black anger is part of what makes this book so unique.