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Other titles in the Flyover Fiction series:
Twelfth and Race (Flyover Fiction)by Eric K Goodman
Synopses & Reviews
Life takes a strange turn when Richard Allan Gordon, thirty years old and as white as they come, discovers that, as a result of identity theft, five-year-old Jada Reece Gordon bears his name. The product of a middle-class Jewish upbringing, Richie finds himself completely in love and lust with Jadas mother, LaTisha, a twenty-five-year-old African American nursing student, and longs to be a father to her child.
Richie and LaTishas story takes place at the intersection of love, race, and identity, as the couple is forced to examine their relationship in light of the terrible event that takes the life of a young black father and catapults their midwestern city into chaos. As riots erupt around them and Richie discovers a secret about his own past that challenges his long-held ideas, he and LaTisha must come to grips with the forces that threaten to tear their relationship apart. A novel that doesnt shy away from the racism that dwells within the unexamined hearts of so many Americans, Twelfth and Race may shock or outrage some readers, yet its story is ultimately timely, honest, and hopeful.
"An awkward, simplistic treatment of race dooms Goodman's heavy-handed latest (after Child of My Right Hand). The novel focuses on the racial obsessions of protagonist Richie Gordon, a Jewish Brooklyn native now living in fictional Calhoun City, Kansas. The book opens in 1972 when Richie's teenaged mother runs away from home, abandoning her toddler son, and picks back up in 2000 — now Richie is a successful brand manager dating the mother of the child who bears his name as a result of identity-theft. Twenty-five year old LaTisha is a racial caricature whose skin Richie describes as 'the blackest thing for miles around.' Indeed, the novel's baffling, blunt treatment of race steers the text towards satire or farce. It often feels as if Goodman (director of the creative writing program at Miami University in Ohio) has deliberately rendered his characters as two-dimensional stereotypes, but the text fails to explore and deconstruct these typecasts. Some of the book's problems have to do with perspective and narration, both of which shift unexpectedly and apparently without purpose: in one scene, the author describes Richie's mother's thoughts in the third-person and then shifts to the first person, seemingly without any reason, so that it seems as if the author were suddenly speaking, and not Richie's mother. In the end, an uninteresting story line and the author's failure to compellingly investigate the issue of race makes this a frustrating read. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
McDermot, Nebraska, is a pleasant, scenic western cattle town situated in the Pawnee River valley—just the place for people seeking refuge from their hectic city lives. It is also just the place for those who have made their homes on this haunting prairie since the late nineteenth century. Ideal for both, McDermot means everything to those native inhabitants and something very different to those who are looking for a new life.
As the native residents wrestle with the arrival of outsiders, a local journalist uncovers a medical scandal epitomizing the problems facing the divided community. After the death of two men, it falls to the ancient but powerful district attorney to mediate a resolution between the clashing interests of the new and the old West. And the Thurston family, descended from the towns first citizen, sets out in its own way to fight the forces threatening to destroy it. This is the story of new and old interests colliding, of small western plains towns confronting the forces of “progress.”
About the Author
Eric Goodman, director of the creative writing program at Miami University of Ohio, has published four previous novels, including Child of My Right Hand and In Days of Awe.
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