Fragments That Remain

Steve Corbin, Author Alyson Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55583-218-6
Guiding the reader through a maze of racial and sexual tensions, Corbin has written a blistering novel about an embattled African American family and its eldest son's combative, interracial homosexual love affair. While filming the scene of a fire, Oscar-nominated actor Skylar Whyte is haunted by memories of a family tragedy and by the breakdown of his relationship with Evan Cabot, a popular white actor. Then he learns that his abusive father is dying in a hospital, and he is flooded with the remembered pain of his childhood. His parents' marriage had torn apart, fatally strained by father Howard Whyte's light-skinned relatives' disdain for Althea, Skylar's darker, less-educated mother. Howard had become prone to morbid, jealous violence while Althea responded by lavishing her attention on Skylar and implicitly handing over his brother Kendall to Howard. Later, Skylar repeats family pathology in his relationship with Evan. Corbin ( No Easy Place to Be ) imparts a stinging poignancy to the harmful, obsessive behaviors repeated in successive generations of a family. His unflinching examination of black self-hatred and of the compounded problems facing black gays (including the inconsistencies in gay politics regarding race) is brave and memorable. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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