Monday, March 30, 2009


In July last year, my book Kama Sutra Lovers was released. I happened to be involved in a conversation not too long ago with an acquaintance who informed me that she wouldn't ever read it. Like any author, I was curious about her reasons, though I was sure I knew the answer.

"Why not? Is it because it's a tri-marriage--a ménage?"

"No, that doesn't bother me."

Huh. "Well, is it because it's a sci-fi? A futuristic?"

"No. I generally enjoy those."

"I know not everyone enjoys reading e-books..." I ventured.

She shook her head. "I have a lot of e-books. That's not it."

"Well, what's wrong with the book?" I finally asked in exasperation.

"It has a black man in it."


"I don't read books with black people in them."

I could not for the life of me think of anything to say to the woman. She had professed on more than one occasion that she was a big fan of my Mystic Valley books--and those people are blue! So why did it matter what color a character's skin was?

It was the first time in a long time that I had come face to face with such boldfaced bigotry. Oh, I know it exists. Both of my son-in-laws are black. My grandchildren are half 'n half, as my son-in-law says. I've seen the looks when we're all out together in the mall or a restaurant. But looks, while hurtful, are not quite the same thing as putting those same feelings in words.

I just can't quite understand what skin color has to do with who the individual is. There are good people. There are bad people. There are people with extraordinary drive and ambition. There are people who are lazy and lacking pride. Period. Color doesn't determine which is which. Each individual makes the choice of which way they will go.

I don't feel like it's any great loss that this woman won't read my book. I suspect that the love story would be invisible to her anyway. Because sadly, she's colorblind in the worst way.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. That is both sad and frustrating.

  3. How sad. She probably doesn't even think of herself as racist. She just thinks, "Oh, I don't enjoy reading about that type of character," -- in the same way I don't enjoy reading about high-fashion types or vampires. And that just makes it worse.

  4. That's insane. Does she read about Asian Characters? Watch TV with black characters? I feel sorry for her kids if she has any.

    WV is 'fiantin'. Any use for that?

  5. This is sad. You miss meeting and knowing a lot of great people with an attitude like that.

  6. Sigh. In the words of Monty Python, "Sheep are very dim. Once they get an idea in their 'ead, there's NO shiftin' it."

  7. That particular reader won't be missed.

  8. Truly amazing and sad story. I am so sorry for her. How sad to only want to know people like yourself or imaginary people you'll never really interact with. What an awful waste of time prejudice is.