Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tananarive Due on Barack Obama

I met Tananarive Due a few years back when we both taught at a Hurston/Wright Writer's Week in Washington D.C.. Ever since I've received emails from her every now and then, letting me know what's up with her life and work. If you don't know Tananarive but have any interest in well-written horror/thriller/vampire/supernatural fiction you've got to check her out! Stephen King said, "I love this novel" of My Soul to Keep, and she's pretty much always received great reviews and endorsements from the likes of Octavia Butler and Peter Straub and Nalo Hopkinson. She's got quite a few books behind her now, and more are certainly coming, including Blood Colony, which is due out this summer. She writes with control and intelligence and a sense of history and cultural complexity, but she also takes care of the business of keeping a reader's pulse raised. Good stuff.

The email I got from her recently was about Barack Obama. I don't tend to talk politics much here, but I don't mind saying I'm looking forward to the next election. Barack Obama is part of that, although I feel there's a lot to be excited about. As a matter of fact, I recently sent in my voter registration to get all up to date here in California. I may even vote in the primary this time!

Anyway, Tananarive keeps a blog called Tananarive Due Reader's Circle, where she talks about plenty of things. Most recently, though, she wrote about hearing Barack Obama talk at her church awhile back. Tananarive was moved, and she doesn't mind saying so.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

very interesting andthis gives us some hope for the future! The race element (to me as a white person) is not a factor, but as a Brit, I want to see the leader of the free world taking a stance that leads by positive example and not greed. Britain lives in your shadow so this does matter to us. Although it would be interesting to see a black or female President I think what we really need is a reminder that the US can be a force for good all over the planet.

4:00 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Thanks for writing. Yes, it would be a dream to see the US once more a "force for good" on the planet. I know there's been a seedy underbelly to all our history, but we've had our moments of inspiration... It's been a while, though. It's absolutely amazing how much harm we've done in recent years, but I do want to shake off the feeling that that's somehow inevitably America's role and identity. It's not. Not completely, at least.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Constance Brewer said...

The text of the speech sums up why I like Obama. He doesn't talk a whole lot about how HE is going to change things, but rather how WE are going to do it. As a team. I think that is what scares some elements of society, that people will join together and demand a change to business as usual.

"May we live in interesting times", indeed. :)

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thinkthe problemis that the world changes and the US has not changed with it. Our British history shows how easy it is to go from having an Empire to having not much at all! You, as a historian, will know that better then most of course!
Regardless of who heads up the (btw, over this side of the pond I think most want the Republicans out) US it must be time to re-evaluate the role the US takes in the world and to move from being the 'leader of the free world' in title and to lead by example in reality. I don't want to make it sound like I have a downer on the States, I don't, the US has taken the lead on many important issues and has been the protector of the West for a long time. But it has to change and it needs a brave leader. Foreign policy and the Environment are critical issues, as are true employment over the US.
Obama seems to be making the right noises and the optimist in me is hopeful!

8:41 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


I'm with you on all of that. And, hey, don't worry about sounding like you're down on the States. I don't know if you know this, but I'm married to a Scot. Met her in Scotland and lived a good five years (spaced out over several periods) in Scotland. I was there through Clinton's second term and through some of Bush's. I know first hand what's it like to view the US from foreign soil! I'm thankful for the perspective, and I'd say it's shaped my writing in a variety of ways - for the better, I believe.

And I'm hopeful too.

7:26 PM  

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