I was delighted to come across the utterly appropriately titled blog White Readers Meet Black Authors, "your official invitation into the African American section of the bookstore," maintained by novelist Carleen Brice. There is little I can say about this blog that Brice hasn't said already, from the video she has on the blog itself to the piece she wrote in December 2008 for the Washington Post. When she started the blog, New York Magazine viewed it as a publicity stunt, and it is that. But Brice is also getting at something very real about the book market; just read the blog and see if you don't agree with her. But more importantly, read the blog for the books she champions. Thanks to White Readers Meet Black Authors, I've been devouring Victor LaValle's The Ecstatic, and his latest book, the very well-reviewed Big Machine, just might be next. I bought both at the same time at McNally Jackson, and the woman behind the cash register smiled.
"Going on a LaValle bender?" she said.
"It looks that way," I said.
She nodded. "You won't be disappointed." I believe her.