Saturday, November 18, 2006

Recommendation for Holiday Vacation Reading

My alternate recommendation is Freshwater Road, by actress Denise Nicholas (yes, she of "Room 222," "In the Heat of the Night (TV version)," "Uptown Saturday Night," and even "Blacula" hahaha). She is as beautiful in person as she is on screen; at age 60 she is even more radiant. Yeah, her eyes really are green--I thought it was an optical illusion.

The novel won a Hurston/Wright Award for fiction earlier this month. Originally published by Agate Books, it is a lyrical yet often vivid meditation on African American "Freedom Riders" in the south in the early 1960s. I say meditation because it doesn't neatly fit in historical fiction genre; rather, it's an account of inner spiritual conflicts surrounding the major characters and events in their lives, much like Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. On the historical tip, however, I am happy that someone finally illustrated the contribution of black Freedom Riders coming "home," rather than the usual tale of idealistic young white kids rolling down to rescue poor helpless negroes from the Klan. Read this rather than sit in line to buy your kids a Playstation 3.

8 comments:

sheila adams said...

I concur with your recommendation and sorry about the obtuse bookclub member not liking Edward P. Jones in Baltimore (and again, you did a great job with Mr. Jones at Borders last month in Largo).

I would also recommend Martha Southgate's Third Girl from the Left and Eisa Nefertari Ulen's Crystelle Mourning. I'm sure I will be reading something WHILE I'm in line for a Playstation 3. It is an irrestable force for my husband and children, but they also read (as you know, my hsuband is your #1 fan) so that's all I can ask!

Happy Thanksgiving
Sheila
Potomac Readers Bookclub

Anonymous said...

Freshwater Road is a wonderful novel. I hope you continue posts like this one.

lance williams, jr said...

Chris, as unofficial chair of your "west coast" fanclub, can you pleas recommend a novel that we bruhs can get our teeth into? It's gonna have to be that way, son, if we're gonna put down the remote this Turkey Day for the printed page! Lotta football on this weekend, bruh...

(PS tell your publicist to email talisha at the CBSradio address)

Peace

Christopher Chambers said...

to Lance--

This is third time you have accused me of recommending "chick lit" if I can read b/w the lines. This novel is not chick lit. Would I steer you wrong? ;-)

P. Flintstone said...

Chris,
As a loyal follower of your work, and your very animated and thought- provoking blog, I think this is a great recommendation. I think this is something I will have to pick up and read during the holiday.

By the way -- there has been tons of interesting, irritating and provocative news tidbits out there today (Michael Richards' racist rants, the OJ debacle -- (he is walking debacle), and the whole TomKat nonsense). You have got to give us a taste of what you are thinking.

Yolanda said...

Thank you for the recommendation, I will definitely have to pick this one up.

Anonymous said...

The NAACP has rejected blogger Chris Chambers' claim that he is not a racist after his much-publicized outburst about "Happy Feet."
"Mr. Chambers' commentary was clearly racist and revealed racist thinking. His declaration that he 'is not a racist...' is indicative of the type of denial that too often accompanies racist rhetoric," said Butch "King" Penguin, director of the Hollywood Bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Penguins. "King" has starred in such movies as "Mary Poppins" and "Orca."
"Before Mr. Chambers and lamentably millions of other Americans can confront and correct the cancerous disease of racism that is hidden in their hearts, they must first acknowledge that it exists and that they have it."
Mr. Chambers' blog is also a symptom of a much bigger problem, the NAACP said in a statement. There is a general lack of understanding of who and what Penguins are. Some think that the natural rhythm of penguins is a stereotype. Others see them as neither here nor there, with their black and white coloring. Penguins are also targeted because the males care for the young while the females go hunt for food. Human sexists can't understand this loyalty and advancement.
The NAACP has asked Mr. Chambers to see the movie and then sit down for a discussion. Some of his best friends might be Penguins.

Aly Cat 121 said...

Funny you mentioned this book cuz My Hunny just picked up a copy of her book. I've been reading it since I met her last week and I LOVE IT! Can't put it done. And you're right, she lovely in person :-)