December 9, 2011

The Best Black American Novelist Writing Today by Shane Stevens


Curious Shane Stevens fans looking for some of his non-fiction to read might check out The Critical Response to Chester Himes. Included in Charles L. P. Silet's compilation of reviews and essays is a Stevens piece called: "The Best Black America Novelist Writing Today."

Originally published in The Washington Post and Times Herald in 1969, Stevens' essay offers more than just a review of Blind Man With A Pistol. In only a few short pages, Shane uses the publication of Blind Man to discuss the importance of Himes' entire body of work, its relation to the American dilemna of race and his own opinions on the "moral" responsibilities of the novelist. If nothing else, Stevens fans may enjoy the tiny bit of personal reminiscence when Shane recalls living in Harlem, working on his own first novel and discovering the work of Chester Himes.

Regrettably, The Critical Response to Chester Himes is over priced. Amazon's new copy is currently available for $110. However, at least here, it seems to be readily available from a number of libraries.
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