Loving Day

Mat Johnson. Spiegel & Grau, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9345-5
Politically correct attitudes regarding racial identity get a satirical skewering in Johnson's (Pym) latest droll turn. Comic book illustrator Warren Duffy, the light-skinned son of a black mother and a white father, has always considered himself black and has benefited from working for publishers who want "an authentic ambiguous Negro for political cover." When Warren returns to his family home in the Philadelphia suburb of Germantown to settle his father's estate, he discovers that he has a teenage daughter, Tal, from a brief high-school fling with a Jewish girlfriend. Tal, unlike Warren, embraces her biracial status and enrolls at the Mélange Center, a learning institution dedicated to finding "the sacred balance. An equilibrium that allows you to live a life that expresses all of who you are and hides none of it." Warren's efforts to placate Tal without sacrificing his own convictions concerning race pit him between friends who see the world (as he does) in terms of black and white, and the more militant members of Tal's "Mulattopian" fringe who treat any challenge to their beliefs as a racist affront. Johnson skillfully navigates his novel's sensitive subject matter, seeing the humor in the more absurd behaviors around race. The wit and shrewdness of his approach perfectly handle serious themes. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/01/2015
Release date: 05/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 384 pages - 978-1-62231-646-5
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