EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT: My Year of Dating Misadventures

Ritta McLaughlin, Author . Doubleday $23.95 (199p) ISBN 978-0-385-50380-8

Terry McMillan meets Sex and the City in this chronicle of real-life dating disasters, penned by a 30-something African-American investment banker living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan. She meets men in the usual places: at work, nightclubs, and community and church events, and through "fix-ups." But while McLaughlin wants to meet the right guy and has the ability to attract many men, she doesn't suffer fools gladly. She takes readers on a tour of some entertaining, blow-by-blow interactions with men who are cheap, men who lack "home training" in manners and men with other women—and in one case a man—on the side. Especially entertaining are McLaughlin's encounters with fellows like Frazier, the Wall Street hotshot she invites over for dinner. Upon arriving, he criticizes her décor: "I mean, your living room looks like it's straight out of Crate & Barrel—or maybe Pottery Barn." He goes on to critique the artwork on McLaughlin's apartment walls ("too black"), her music ("shallow," with "obvious" hip-hop selections), her books ("eclectic but no crime novels") and her food ("could use some more garlic"). There are some good men in the author's life, though. One is her platonic buddy, Max; the other is her 60-year-old, thrice-married uncle, who tells her, "Folks can pretend usually for about three to six months and then the truth is gonna show up. You can't change or save anybody. You can choose to do things differently but your core is going to remain the same." Although McLaughlin's prose doesn't rise above average, her depictions of conversations with men ring true. (On sale July 1)

Forecast:The market swarms with tales written by Carrie Bradshaw–type yuppies, but isn't yet packed with books written by their black counterparts. Expect decent sales, especially in urban markets.

Reviewed on: 06/02/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-7679-0991-4
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