Magazine article New Internationalist

Counter Narratives

Magazine article New Internationalist

Counter Narratives

Article excerpt

Counter Narratives by John Keene (Fitzcarraldo Editions, ISBN 9781910695135)

John Keene was a member of The Dark Room Collective, a significant African American writers' group which formed in Boston in the 1980s, and he cites one of its luminaries, Samuel R Delany, as a formative influence.

Keene describes this collection of his stories, which range in size from a few pages to novella length, as a 'literary and archival mixtape' and there is, throughout, a refreshing air of openness and experimentation. The pieces here, while thematically disparate, are linked by a willingness to cut across accepted historical narratives and interpretative borders.

The author draws on newspaper clippings, memoirs, pulp fiction and oral history to assemble mosaics which give fresh perspectives on what we think we know. …

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