NEGROPHOBIA by Darius James

NEGROPHOBIA

An Urban Parable
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Every racial stereotype about black people comes to boisterous, blistering life in this outrageous first novel--a grand guignol comic book that draws from both racist kitsch and Afro- American high culture. Written in the form of a screenplay, it's a self-described ``Rocky Horror Negro Show,'' a pop-schlock phantasmagoria that owes as much to William Burroughs as it does to S. Clay Wilson. Totally in-your-face, this sexually explicit, postmodern Amos and Andy show follows the strange adventures of Bubbles Brazil, a ``drug-addled'' blond bombshell who thinks of herself as ``the reigning queen supreme of the cover-girl wet dream.'' She's a rich kid who hates going to school with ``jigaboos'' since they've turned the high-school hallways into a Mad Max spectacle of sex, drugs, and violence. This punk Orphan Annie soon finds herself transported into a nightmare dreamscape, taken there through the voodoo of a demonic Aunt Jemima called ``the Maid.'' Along the way, she meets the ``cosmic Sambo,'' a Negro cyborg; the Licorice Men, a group of cartoon savages with grass skirts and bones through their noses; Uncle H. Rap Remus, with his laughable accent; Malcolm X playing Bojangles; and crack kids with Walter Keene eyes. This Alice in Negroland witnesses the revenge of the lawn jockeys against their white suburban owners; and sits through a strange film-within-the-film, a Disney version of Triumph of the Will, with Walt declared president for life. Meanwhile, African cannibals dream of America and endless welfare checks. And of course, all the men are super-humanly endowed. As if that weren't enough, James riffs through lots of gross-out stuff: snot, afterbirths, pus, intestines, and the like. There are patches of hilarious doggerel, and bursts of iconographic high jinks. James's raucous debut is by far the best novel to emerge from New York's Lower East Side literary scene.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-8065-1293-8
Page count: 160pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1992




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