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on the shelf.

Popular fiction is exploding, giving readers something soft to sink into like a fresh stack of autumn leaves. E. Lynn Harris and Eric Jerome Dickey, with their rapid climb up the best seller lists, are testament to the rising recognition of black writers in this genre. In this issue, check out recent releases from Harris, whose Not a Day Goes By (pg. 21) debuted at No. 2 on the New York Times list, Rosalyn McMillan, Nelson George and Omar Tyree. Unfortunately we did not receive Dickey's Liar's Game from the publisher in time for this issue. Following up their widely acclaimed Rosie's Curl and Weave, a quartet of popular fiction writers have come back together with a fun, creative series of vignettes that take place at the newly re-named Della's House of Style.

As the days shorten and the seasons change, giving us a whole new theater of night time stars, kids of all ages begin to wonder anew what is out there. One of the most exciting developments in the world of books is that speculative fiction is getting wider acceptance in the main stream of literary fiction. Dark Matter, a groundbreaking new anthology of some of the most innovative work by African Americans in the genre--from undeservedly lesser known works to fresh stories from the new masters of contemporary fiction--leads the way into our fiction reviews. We are also happy to highlight recent releases in the genre including the re-release of John A. Williams' classic, Captain Blackman.

In nonfiction we highlight astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium Director Neil DeGrasse Tyson's journey to the stars in his memoir, The Sky is Not the Limit. African literary legend Chinua Achebe's returns to the page after 13 years with the autobiographical Home and Exile. Lovers of the autobiographical narrative will also want to follow Jamaica Kincaid and James Alan McPherson as they take their own uniquely personal routes to the places that their hearts call home.

This election year there is a lot on the political plate. Jill Nelson and Mumia Abu-Jamal are two writers who have brought controversial, must-read issues to the table. Remember to register to vote--and bring a book for those electoral booth lines.

I'm particularly proud of our all-new poetry section in which we bring you some of the best new collections, along with commentary from a perennial north star of poetry, Haki R. Madhubuti. Co-founder of Cave Canem, the national black poets retreat, Toi Derricotte brings life to our shelves with the re-release of Natural Birth. New works from Askia Toure and Cheryl Boyce Taylor, may find you trekking out to your own local coffee house to take part in this time-honored tradition of the lyrical dance.

So wrap yourself in the diversity of this seasons literary offerings. Along the way you'll also find fascinating accounts of artistic luminaries Billie Holiday and film pioneer Oscar Micheaux. I think it's an exciting season for reading, but check out some of the titles we've got on our shelves for yourself, and let us know what you think!

SAMIYA A. BASHIR BIBR Senior Editor
COPYRIGHT 2000 Cox, Matthews & Associates
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Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:BASHIR, SAMIYA A.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2000
Words:514
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