Rest in Love, Eric Jerome Dickey (1961-2021)

I would like to give my condolences to family, friends, and legions of readers for author Eric Jerome Dickey.  I found out the news of his passing earlier today and realized that I had not read none of his books. Nothing personal….just an oversight on my part.  I have several friends who are readers of his novels and recommended them to me.  But I never got around to them.  I feel bad about that oversight and bought a couple of his books today.

Dickey wrote many novels, short stories, and the Marvel comic book, Astonishing X-Men where Storm gets together with Black Panther romantically.  I read today some of Dickey’s favorite novels by readers are Milk In My Coffee, Friends & Lovers, and The Other Woman. His ability to chronicle contemporary African-American life of the 1990s and 2000s is summed up by this Twitter comment from writer Roxane Gay:

“I am truly saddened to hear about the passing of Eric Jerome Dickey,” Gay wrote. “His were some of the first novels I ever read about Black people that weren’t about slavery or civil rights. He was a great storyteller.”

As a storyteller myself, those last two sentences are the greatest compliments you can give to a black writer.  It is what I’m trying to aim for in my stories.   Our experience is not just about slavery or civil rights, but the full range of what it means to be human.  Our loves.  Our losses.  Our flaws.  Our strengths. Our fantasies. Our secrets.  All the things that make being human messy, complicated, contradictory, fascinating, and rewarding.  Black people are allowed to have that range of humanity expressed in art, just like every other human being on the planet .  Dickey provided that for many readers through the power of story.  Well done, Eric Jerome Dickey.  Rest in love, Storyteller!

Happy New Year!

First, I want to wish everyone reading this post a Happy New Year.  Obviously, 2020 has been a challenging year for most of the world on some level.  For many of you, it has been a challenging year on multiple levels.  No one could have imagined a year like 2020.  I’m a writer and in… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 70: Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

Sometimes in reading a novel for the second time, you will not get the same feeling when you read it previously. This is the case for Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. Snow Country is considered to being Kawabata’s masterpiece.  And for many reasons, I agree with that assessment. However, as I’m getting older, I realize… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 69: Silver Surfer #1 (1968) by Stan Lee & John Buscema

As a teenager, I had a huge comic book collection.  It was mostly Marvel and DC Comics with a few independent comic book publishers like Image, Dark Horse, and Valiant Comics. I read Avengers, Green Lantern Mosaic, Green Arrow, The Spectre, Sandman, and Icon (from Milestone Comics) during that time.  The Silver Surfer (along with Icon)… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 68: The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carre

John Le Carre passed away earlier this month.  I posted on social media my respects and fondness for The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, the only Le Carre novel I had read. I was going to read A Perfect Spy in honor of his death.  However, I got about fifty pages into that… Continue Reading

Marion’s Favorites: Marion’s Favorite Reads of 2020

2020 is mercifully coming to a close, and it has been probably one of the most challenging years that I can remember.  A global pandemic.  A contentious American presidential election.  Big time celebrity deaths. So on and so on.  Reading has been choppy.  However, I read fifty books this year.  Here are my favorite reads… Continue Reading

Marion’s Favorites: Maysa Leak

I first heard Maysa Leak on my favorite band, Incognito’s 1993 album, Positivity.  The song called Deep Waters speaks about loving someone that she should stay away from but was being pulled deeper into his orbit.  There have been many songs throughout music covering that aspect of love.  However, Maysa’s voice glides over the music… Continue Reading