Essence: Incognegro by Mat Johnson

It seems like the only thing worth reading in Essence lately is the book section (not including the best selling urban fiction titles). Honestly, how many articles can one read on debt, losing weight, and relationship problems. Oh, and don’t forget the HIV/AIDS/STD articles. Important? Yes, but do we need to read articles about this stuff every single month? This subscriber says no. But what can one expect from women’s magazines today? Marie Claire, my other favorite magazine, fell off sometime ago. Now I’m just waiting for the subscription to run out.

In the February issue of Essence, Patrik Henry Bass selects “the most fascinating Black History Month books this season.” When I saw Mat Johnson’s book, I tapped the page and held up the magazine to get the boyfriend’s attention–as though I had something to do with the book’s publication and promotion.

If you are a frequent visitor of this blog, then you know that I had an opportunity to work with Johnson last summer in the “Building the Novel” workshop at Hurston/Wright. Informative. Inspiring. Made me think about writing in a new light. All that.

Here’s what Essence had to say:

THE NEW NEGRO Mat Johnson doesn’t just push the boundaries of race, he blows them up. Good for him and any reader who picked up his funny 2000 debut novel, Drop, or his worthy but overlooked 2003 follow-up, Hunting in Harlem. In his latest story, the Philadelphia born author guides us into a realm many of his fans haven’t visited before: the pages of a graphic novel. In Incognegro (Vertigo, $19.99), Johnson revisits the painful era of lynchings of Black men by White mobs in the early twentieth century. This being a Mat Johnson tale, Incognegro inevitable uncovers details of our collective past, and nothing, or no one, is quite who or what they seem. (Learn more . . .)

And now I must catch up on all the reading that I didn’t do yesterday. Not worried. It will get done. It always does.

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