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At Dockside: UVI 'Seasonings;' More on the 'Down Low;' and Paperbacks for Black History Month

Here is where you will find what's new at St. Thomas' well-known, well-read Dockside Bookshop at Havensight Mall. Every week you will find new titles to peruse. Look for updates of our "picks" for fiction and nonfiction and, at the end of the reviews, a "Top Ten" of new nonfiction paperbacks of African-American interest.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Phone: 340-774-4937
E-mail: dockside@islands.vi
"Seasoning for the Mortar: Virgin Islanders Writing in The Caribbean Writer Vol. 1-15" edited by Marvin E. Williams.
University of the Virgin Islands, anthology of poetry, fiction, drama and essays by Virgin Islanders, 287 p. $17.95

At last we have available a collection of writing by Virgin Islanders! In keeping with the mission of The Caribbean Writer, the wellknown journal of Caribbean literature published by the University of the Virgin Islands, "Seasoning For The Mortar" gathers some of the best texts of Virgin Islanders which have appeared in the journal over the first 15 years of its existence – 1987-2002. Including poetry, fiction, essays and one short play, this volume traces the recent trajectory of Virgin Islands literature, its producers, their themes and treatment.
A short sample poem by Edgar O. Lake, entitled "Caribbean Night:"
A lattice view
Through turpentine leaves
Of the stepped town's lights
While the night air grieves

A moment in history
Prism in the night
Trapped in the mirage
Of the Equator's light
Flash-moon Sparkle-steel
Passion rides the waves
We never as fair
We were never as bright
As this fragile Caribbean night

"Beyond the Down Low" by Keith Boykin.
Carroll & Graf, nonfiction hardcover, 311 pp. $25.00.
Bolstered by national television exposure on Oprah and a cover story in the New York Times Magazine, the "down low" — a term used to refer to "straight" men who have sex with men — was thrust into the open in 2004. Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, goes beyond the hype with the first responsible, eye-opening look at the down low sensation.
Unlike all previous accounts on the topic, "Beyond the Down Low" presents the DL not merely as a problem of gay and bisexual men living in the shadows, but more as an example of America's unwillingness to engage in critical but uncomfortable conversations about black sexuality. Boykin details how society has helped to create an environment where black gay and bisexual men feel compelled to lead double lives. Meanwhile, the dialogue that has taken place in the black community encourages an unhealthy battle of the sexes, ignores the complexity of the closet, demonizes bisexuality, disempowers women, and misdirects public resources and attention. This book is a timely and well researched answer to the question, "Why are so many black men on the DL?" More importantly, it is an essential tool to pry open the closet door in black America.

Ten New Nonfiction Paperbacks of African-American Interest

1. "America Beyond the Color Line" by Henry Louis Gates Jr., $15.95
2. "Ready for Revolution: Life & Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Turé)" by Stokely Carmichael with Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, $18.00
3. "Quitting America" by Randall Robinson, $15.00
4. "Hidden Cost Of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality " by Thomas M. Shapiro, $15.95
5. "Mississippi In Africa: The Saga Of The Slaves of Prospect Hill Plantation and Their Legacy in Liberia Today" by Alan Huffman, $15.00
6. "The Michael Eric Dyson Reader" by Michael Eric Dyson, $17.00
7. "Life on The Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett" by Jennifer Gonnerman, $14.00
8. "To The Mountaintop: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Mission To Save America 1955-1968 by Stewart Burns, $18.95
9. "Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary" by Jasmine Guy, $14.00
10. "Climbing Higher" by Montel Williams with Lawrence Grobel, $13.95
We will gladly order any books you want. E-mail us at dockside@islands.vi, or call 340-774-4937.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Phone: 340-774-4937
E-mail: dockside@islands.vi

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