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The City
A coming-of-age tale of a jazz prodigy finding his way in 1960s New York City.
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Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

Created: 07/16/14

Replies: 12

Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 122

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Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man? Does this custom (male authors writing in a woman's voice, etc.) ever give you pause? Does it influence your opinion of a novel?


Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alices

Join Date: 06/15/13

Posts: 11

RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

NO. I do not feel that a person's race or ethic background effects their mind or emotions

Alice Q


Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

No, I never questioned this - and I have to admit that I have read many books in which a male author speaking as a woman or vice versa or a White author speaking as another race did NOT come across as authentic. I think Koontz 's voice comes across as authentic. I never had any pages on which I was jarred out of my enjoyment of the story by being aware of the author's race... or age.


Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 135

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RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

No, I assumed it was a black author.


Posted Jul. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
harriettek

Join Date: 10/19/10

Posts: 34

RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

No...I have found that some authors have a particular facility for inhabiting another's persona, such as a woman writing as a man or the reverse. It is tricky, but, in this case, I never questioned it. I did find that the child seemed especially perceptive for his age. I have questioned this in other writings and put it down to the adult looking at his life from a more mature age and recollection.


Posted Jul. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nanette s

Join Date: 05/06/12

Posts: 12

RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

No, I usually do not think about the characters of a book and who is the actual author writing the story. I don't feel that it matters who the author is writing the story as long as it is a well balanced, well written story.


Posted Jul. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

No, I didn't think about it, but maybe I should have. I did question the authenticity of the things the author had the kids say. I taught for many years and raised three children. None of the kids I was around were as perceptive as the ones in the book and didn't speak at the level Jonah and the others did.


Posted Jul. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 46

RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

No I did not which I think is the mark of a good author. He was writing about the ethos of all of us no matter our color or background.


Posted Jul. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinep

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 31

RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

I agree with Christineb in that Koontz was writing about the ethos of all of us no matter our color or background.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mystinamarie

Join Date: 12/19/12

Posts: 37

RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

I agree with terriej, in that I assumed it was a black author. I did not question the voice, except like others pointed out that at times (more when Jonah was much younger) he seemed really perceptive for a child. But then I remembered that this is being spoken into a recorder from hindsight as an adult, so that helps explain that, too.


Posted Jul. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joannev

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 19

RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

No, not at all. Dean Koontz has a remarkable facility for inhabiting the thoughts and perceptions of young people - and I think this story really had little to do with race and more to do with the emotions and perceptions of a child as seen through the eyes of an adult.


Posted Jul. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 77

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RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

Never even thought about it. So I guess the answer is no


Posted Jul. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Did you at any time question the validity of a White author speaking as a Black man?

White, black, pink or purple...what does it matter if the author is a good one and writes with honesty? Never entered my mind. The book wasn't about 'race'. And when it was discussed it was so done so with dignity.


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