This Just in

Yolanda Joe, Author Doubleday Books $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-385-49256-0
Gender issues and racial politics inflect a Chicago TV newsroom in Joe's (Bebe's By Golly Wow) fast-paced but didactic novel, a derivative Broadcast News or Murphy Brown with African-American protagonists. Poor morale and low ratings haunt WKBA's news division, but many of the ambitious black women who work there scramble for recognition and promotion while trying to stay true to their ethics. Fights between producers and writers, senior anchors and young hopeful reporters, studio bigwigs and technical workers, union-seeking employees and the management are all part of the multifaceted drama. Photographer Alex Harbor is tired of unending battles against racism and sexism, and writer Kenya Adams is at the end of her rope with a demanding schedule that threatens her family life. When the news director gets canned for low ratings, news manager Denise Mitzler sees an opportunity to move up the ladder, but she loses the job to a black male brought in from outside, Xavier ""Glory"" Helston, who wins over many with his interest in employee grievances. The feisty women try to control their destinies: Denise threatens to sue; Holly creates an emergency that allows her to anchor the news; Kenya recovers from an embarrassing gaffe at an important industry party; photographer Megan invests heavily in the stock market to finance her own company. Joe's novel is structured like a news broadcast, with chapter headings as preview ""teasers,"" but the gimmick is awkward. Many of the characters sound alike, and with so many dramatic crises, the interchangeability of characters makes the plot stagger as if the TelePrompTer has gone awry. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-345-44646-6
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