Waiting in Vain

Colin Channer, Author One World $23 (368p) ISBN 978-0-345-41178-5
Representing a figure all too rare in contemporary romance, African American A.J. ""Fire"" Heath, a sensitive, sophisticated man with a good career, is a major asset to this appealing first novel by short-story writer Channer. Fire's combination of good looks, kindness and brains, and his desire to find the right woman ""in the fullness of time,"" will make him nearly irresistible to readers of commercial fiction. A painter and novelist who has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Fire shuttles between his native Jamaica, London and New York. In a chance encounter on a Brooklyn street, Fire meets Sylvia, another transplanted Jamaican, who is disappointed with her magazine-editing job and her art-dealer lover. Fire and Sylvia pursue and retreat from each other in convincingly soul-searching scenarios while Channer vividly describes urban New York, industrial Brixton and rural Jamaica. Channer has a fine ear for Jamaican patois (and for when it bubbles up in otherwise American-accented conversations). Also to his credit, Channer largely resists the trendy name-dropping and product placements so common in this genre. Subplots of intrigue in the African American art world add substance without detracting from the pace. As readers in the know will recognize, this tale of continent-hopping romance takes its title from a Bob Marley song. Author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-345-43012-0
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-345-42552-2
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