cover image Writin' is Fightin': Thirty-Seven Years of Boxing on Paper

Writin' is Fightin': Thirty-Seven Years of Boxing on Paper

Ishmael Reed. Atheneum Books, $0 (226pp) ISBN 978-0-689-11975-0

Novelist-playwright Reed's latest collection of essays and reviews lives up to its title. He laments Jesse Jackson's ``Hymietown'' remarks but measures it against racist slurs made by government officials. He pummels the ``literary-industrial complex'' for ignoring writing by nonwhites; argues that Orwell's 1984 could apply to capitalism as well as communism; and exposes underlying racist attitudes in the liberal press, on television newscasts, in city politics and schools. Sharp-edged satires condemn South Africa's Afrikaner regime and the Bernhard Goetz ``subway vigilante'' trial. Reed examines the incomprehension faced by Afro-American and African playwrights in the U.S. and discusses boxer Joe Louis, the film The Color Purple, Asian-American communities and why the Soviets allow Saint Nicholas to remain a symbol of Christmas. Solid, punchy and provocative, these 19 forceful essays represent a departure from the jazzy, rambling style of Reed's earlier books. (July)