Love Story Black

William Demby, Author Dutton Books $15.95 (141p) ISBN 978-0-525-24483-7
Demby (The Catacombs here walks a thin line between intriguing and irritating the reader. Edwards (no first name given), a freelance writer and Black Studies professor at a small college in New York City, is assigned a story for a glossy black women's magazine. The piece concerns Mona Pariss, an aging former singer whose popularity in Europe once rivaled Josephine Baker's. Edwards is gradually drawn into Mona's strange, mystical world. At the same time, he finds himself entering into an affair with a beautiful assistant at New Black Woman magazine. Ultimately he becomes entangled in the lives of both women and nearly loses himself in the process. The book's clunky title gives a hint of some of the awkwardness of the narrative. Demby's attempt to combine funky, colloquial dialogue with mystical, allegorical prose results in a sometimes annoying muddle of characters who speak a black-intellectual-hipster dialect. In spite of its faults, however, the novel is somewhat redeemed by an engaging wit. (October 9)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
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