introducing readers to writers since 1995

July 13, 2005

Publicity Nightmares

by Ron Hogan

  • The Globe and Mail reports on Chris Cleave's dilemma as to whether he should stop promoting Incendiary, a novel in which a woman writes a defiant letter to Osama bin Laden after losing her family in a terrorist attack on a London football stadium. On his own website, now that readers have told him in no uncertain terms to keep on keeping on, Cleave elaborates on what went through his mind last week. "I donít think my book is unusually prescient," he observes. "We all knew this was coming--but none of my months of imagining the horror prepared me for the reality of it."

  • Terry McMillan has apparently moved past denial and is now swimming in anger over her divorce from a husband who now says he's gay, reports Elizabeth Wellington (Philadelphia Inquirer). Her "temporary" homophobia appears to have been supplemented with a healthy dose of paranoia: "I'm the victim of extortion, sabotage, and it was all designed to coerce me into giving him money. And it was designed to happen at the same time that my new book was published." But when Wellington writes "that this happened to this particular lady seems unbelievable," because "McMillan has spent the last 18 years fictionalizing the contemporary black woman's experience," I briefly wonder what's so unbelievable; after all, hasn't years of "on the down low" hysteria tried to convince us this is the contemporary black woman's experience? It certainly sounds a lot less fantastic than the plot of Disappearing Acts...

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