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8338: Re: Frustration (fwd)

From: SDSALINGER@aol.com

   I have read the many recent messages relating to misinformation concerning 
AIDS in Haiti and Bill Maher's careless TV comments on Voodoo with more than 
passing interest and, I must admit, with a considerable degree of frustration.
   My novel, WHITE DARKNESS, went on sale in bookstores last week. Bob 
Corbett reviewed it for this website--favorably, I'm pleased to say-- and 
commented specifically on the novel's respectful treatment not only of 
Haitian culture but of the many Haitian characters: "They aren't just poor 
black folks dressed up as Haitians, they really ring true of a distinctness 
of Haiti and left me wondering where Salinger picked up his insights into 
being Haitian." In his review, Corbett also wrote, "The plot is intricate and 
fun," and described the novel as "light fiction, a rather gripping tale of  
greed, cruelty, violent sexuality and danger lurking in every page."
   Two weeks ago, Publishers Weekly gave WHITE DARKNESS an unequivocally 
positive review, calling it "tense and engrossing" and citing for special 
mention the way "the Haitian worldview permeates the novel."  The customer 
reviews on both Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com  give the book five stars out 
of five.
    Despite this early critical acclaim, my publisher has done nothing 
whatever to promote this book. No advertising, no TV or radio appearances, no 
book signings. Not one. Moreover, since the Publishers Weekly review appeared 
two weeks ago, no major newspaper or magazine in the U.S. has reviewed it (at 
least not yet.). 
      So here is a novel which--within the framework of a commercial 
thriller-- presents the plight of Haitians both in Haiti and the U.S. and 
attempts to deal fairly, honestly and respectfully with Voodoo and the 
Haitian people. The publisher does not promote it, the media do not review it 
. . . .  which means the public will not read it.
    In one particularly strong scene, the novel's Haitian villain rather 
convincingly condemns the many Western tourists who visited Haiti in the 
eighties to prey on Haitian children and in addition to their dollars left 
them something called AIDS.
   Anyone on this website who reads this novel is more than welcome to email 
me with comments and criticisms. I must admit it is frustrating to read so 
many negative things about Haiti and Voodoo when my novel, which could 
enlighten some people and perhaps even change a few opinions, is out there 
amidst virtual silence. What to do? All suggestions gratefully accepted.

(By the way, though I am from Brooklyn, I lived in the Caribbean for 18 
yearsand visited Haiti several times.)
Steven D. Salinger