FED UP WITH THE FANNY by Franklin White


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 The enthusiastic (if slightly sappy and overearnest) White joins a new movement of male African-American writers (e.g., Eric Jerome Dickey, among others) who want to portray ``good'' black men, rather than the more frequent media representations of gangstas and deadbeat dads. Kahlil Richardson, a handsome, educated, six-foot five-inch ``chocolate brother,'' with five sisters and a widowed mom, is an ad executive at Detroit's Houston Corporation by day, and a babe- magnet both by day and night. Kahlil finds his women, though, to be a constant source of tension and conflict. First, there's Cece, the supposed love of his life, whose distrustfulness and manipulative best friend interfere with what could be Kahlil's main chance for true romantic happiness. Then there's his best pal, Dewayna, with her fly-by-night husband, Demitrious, who continually neglects his responsibilities concerning their son Octavious. Not to mention Sonje, Kahlil's politically powerful and sexually voracious former lover, who won't let anything stand in the way of her own success, and, finally, his oldest sister Leandra, whose son Sid (Kahlil's nephew) is in tons of trouble and headed for more. It's Sid's gang associations that form the bulk of the dramatic action here. Due to Kahlil's work for the Urban Coalition, a grassroots organization that strives to ensure that the black community is adequately represented in the city of Detroit, he takes a particular interest in rescuing Sid from oncoming demise. As Kahlil deals with his demanding women, he releases stress by harping on about the ``suck- ass white boys'' in his office--and thereby falls into his own trap of stereotyping. Eventually, he realizes that life (surprise) is more complicated than he'd thought. Lively language and colorful characters, but the shifting point-of-view is confusing and the plot loose, at best.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-684-84491-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1997