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8338: Re: Frustration (fwd)
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
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