[LMB] OT: Book Club and A Free Man of Color

A. Marina Fournier saffronrose at me.com
Mon Dec 15 21:31:50 GMT 2014

On 14 Dec 2014, at 04:48, Nicholas David Rosen <ndrosen at erols.com> wrote:
> I know I'm not the only Barbara Hambly reader on the list, so this may be of interest.  I got the No Strings Attached book club (at the Patent Office)

Hope this one’s not old and lame, but have you had anything recently from anyone who failed math?

> to read _A Free Man of Color_, and it was by no means as popular as I had hoped.  One woman (white) said that she had read actual slave narratives, and when she wanted to read something about being black in the antebellum South, she preferred the real thing.

How incredibly narrow of her.

>  Also, she objected that Benjamin January was improbably multi-talented, and recovered from an injury awfully fast; furthermore, that he seemed more like a modern man somehow transported back to the 1830's than an authentic product of his time.

And her point is?

> I still liked the book, and defended it in the discussion.  I pointed out that Ms Hambly had apparently done her research, and offered a portrait of Creole society in all its weirdness.  Also, she's a moralist who doesn't hide from the difficulty of some dilemmas.

I haven’t managed to get all of the series books together, but I rather liked the pointing out of how different NOLA was from the overall South at the time, on many levels. Compare Mr. January to Josephine Baker in her time, and you will find similarities in cultural treatment of blacks (not that the French are without their biases), but I wouldn’t call him modern. I’ve enjoyed any of the BJ novels I’ve read.

Barbara (knew her before she was published) does her research well. She does have a rather zero-sum vision of how magic works, and deals with the harsh as well as the wondrous.  

A. Marina Fournier
SaffronRose at me.com
I could not believe in a God that could not dance.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and poet              (Attributed)

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