Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?
Kathleen Collins. Ecco, $15.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-248415-4
Race, gender, love, and sexuality are portrayed beautifully and humanely in this previously unpublished collection of stories from groundbreaking African-American filmmaker and civil rights activist Collins, who died in 1988 at the age of 46. Drawing on Collins’s career as a filmmaker and playwright, the stories incorporate stage directions, dramatic monologues, and camera-eye perspectives that frame the racial tension of the 1960s with both frankness and tenderness. “Exteriors” details a failing relationship from the outside, set up as a film scene through a lighting designer’s eye, while “Interiors” gives us the inner monologues from the perspectives of the couple in a failed marriage. The title story follows a group of interracial couples as each member explores his/her own identity while trying to fit in with the identity of the other. In the gripping “Only Once,” a woman recalls her thrill-seeking lover and his final act of recklessness. “The Happy Family” seems happy on the surface, but a closer look by the family’s friend reveals the cracks that broke the family apart. Full of candor, humor, and poise, this collection, so long undiscovered, will finally find the readers it deserves. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2016