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Archive for September 29th, 2015

 Rendered Invisible Book Banner


Rendered InvisibleTitle:
 Rendered Invisible
Author: Frank E. Dobson, Jr.
Publisher: Plain View Press
Genre: Short Stories
Format: Kindle/Paperback

“Thirteen dead black men, and nobody knows it happened,” so says Johnny Smith, who sets out on a quest to make things right in the powerful novella that begins this collection – a masterpiece of collaged voices. Voice is urgent and significant–Dobson focuses throughout on the invisible and the unvoiced-he brings them to center stage, where they speak their pain and frustration. “Maybe we can revise history,” one of his characters says; Dobson’s book does just that.
Mary Grimm, novelist, professor, Case Western University

In entrancing prose that claims a place with writers as powerful as Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and John Edgar Wideman, Frank Dobson offers his own bold, subtle explorations of race and life in America. I sat down to skim a bit of his new book of stories, and ended up reading its central novella straight through. This narrative of the .22-Caliber killings in Buffalo – little known to most Americans-and the lives of blacks and whites caught up in those tense days makes for suspenseful, compelling reading.
Jeff Gundy, poet, professor, Bluffton University

ORDER INFORMATION

Rendered Invisible  is available for order at  Amazon, and  B&N

 Rendered Invisible, my latest book, is a work of historical fiction, which is forthcoming (summer, 2010), by Plain View Press.    This work, set in my hometown of Buffalo, NY and other locales, examines racial and social relationships, including a little-known but racially-motivated killing spree.

As a writer, my work centers on issues of spirituality, race, gender and class.  I have published a novel, The Race Is Not Given(SterlingHouse, 1999) and several pieces of short fiction, all of which confront masculinity from the perspective of black workin g-class males, families and communities.  “Black Messiahs Die” (The Vanderbilt Review, 2005) is a work of historical fiction which uses th e shooting of a black male by the police in Cincinnati (and other cities) as the backdrop for an examination of the wrongful death of a young black male athlete. “Homeless M.F.” (W arpland, 1995) examines class and gender through the mindset of a young, black, ex-con.

My one-act play, “Fridays Without Pay” was presented at the 2005 National Black Theatre Festival.  It examines black male-female relationships from a historical context. And my full-length play, “Black Messiahs Fly” was presented at the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival.    A revision of that play, “Young Messiahs Fly,” was presented at the Frank Silvera’s Writers Workshop in Harlem, NYC, in April of 2008 and also in Nashville, TN and Toledo, Ohio, in 2010.

My scholarly examinations of race, gender and class include a biographical essay, “Reflections of a Black Working Class Academic” which was published in Public Voices (Vol. V, No. 3) and other works.  I have had numerous other scholarly works in print and/or presented at professional conferences.  These include the following: the introduction to the Barnes & Noble edition of  Folks from Dixie, by the famed poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and a recent article, “Beyond Black Men as Breeders:  White Men and the Commodity of Blackness,” which appears in the Vanderbilt University journal, Ameriquests (Vol 6, no 1).   Additionally, I have studied and written on various write rs including James Baldwin, A l Young, John McCluskey, John Edgar Wideman, a nd Carlene Hatcher Polite.

Educationally, I received my B.A. at the University of Buffalo (SUNY), the M.A. in English from UNLV and the Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University (Ohio).  I received a Ford Foundation fellowship to study at Penn in 1992.  And in 1996, I received the Hurston-Head Fiction Writer’s Award from Chicago State University, and in 1999, I received a CultureWorks Creative Writing Award.  I am a native of Buffalo, NY and have lived across the USA.   I am married to Dioncia, and we have three grown children.

For More Information

Visit Frank’s website.

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SYNOPSIS
A First Love. A Second Chance. 

A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again. 
An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible. 

Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen. 

PURCHASE

EXCERPT

Andrew was seated on a comfortable stool at the busy restaurant bar, sipping a vodka martini. It was a classic, dark wood bar, with back lighting, glowing liquor bottles, brocade mirrors and plenty of wealthy regulars, chatting with the black-vested, paunchy, middle-aged bartender.

Westie had said she’d meet him there at 6:45pm. She was running late. Andrew was surprisingly skittish—uncharacteristically so. He was not the type. Nothing much shook him anymore. He’d traveled the world, met all types and all cultures: politicians, billionaires, film directors, generals, you name it.

Yep, he’d met them all. He’d been in meetings with venture capitalists, kicking around million dollar deals, and he’d sat in two meetings with the Vice President of the United States. He’d felt nervous, yes, but not the churning-in-the-stomach unease he was feeling now, knowing Westie was on her way. Westie—his first love—his only true love.

The booze began to blur and relax his anxiety. He chewed on an olive and frequently twisted around to see if she’d arrived. Andrew wore a hand-made, classic, navy blue striped wool business suit, costing almost three thousand dollars. His sky blue shirt was set off by a bronze silk tie and a matching scarf, artfully blooming from his lapel pocket. His haircut was three days old and, though he was losing hair, it still wasn’t that obvious. But he didn’t have the mane he’d had the last time Westie saw him. He kept it short on the sides with a bit of length on the top, but combed back from his broad forehead.

He checked himself in the brocade mirror once more, frowning, as the dim lighting made him look older. Was he still “rough-around-the-edges handsome?” Well, younger women still found him attractive.  He had affairs now and then, though nothing serious. Andrew was not interested in serious anymore.  But with Westie, that could all change.

Andrew turned to see Westie standing by the hostess station. He stood, then froze. bHe breathed out a jet of air, his pulse drumming in his ears. She searched for him, until the tall African American hostess indicated toward the bar. Westie turned.

Andrew’s and Westie’s eyes met—timid, nervous, hopeful.

His first impression of her was that of a tall, classy woman, possessing a supreme elegance and beautiful face. No longer was she a tall, gangling girl of 19 with mismatched clothes, blue fingernails and dark eye shadow. This Westie—this Olivia—had the alluring mystery and the supreme class of a Jackie Kennedy.  She instantly intimidated him.

Olivia saw a mature, attractive man, a bit overweight, with streaks of gray at his temples. His face was square, his dark eyes watchful, his stance secure and confident. He smiled warmly, showing teeth. She did not sense or see the old swagger, or the raw, animal sexuality she had known as a girl.

Andrew drew in a breath and started over to her as she approached him. They gently embraced, like strangers.

Then they took a step back and Andrew wished he’d finished his martini. He felt a storm of emotions inside. “Hello, Westie,” he said, largely.

Olivia was still reeling from her time with Brett. The entire day had taken on an urgent, dream-like quality, as she’d fallen into girlish memories and swelling emotions. Now, as she stared into Andrew’s face, the moment seemed nebulous and out of focus, as if they were framed in an impressionistic painting hanging on a museum wall, and she was watching the entire scene as a spectator. She felt suspended there, and absent from feeling.

Andrew smiled, his eyes glittering.  “There you are.  The girl I always wanted.”

Olivia was a conflicted mess. “You always did know what you wanted,” she said, her voice low and breathy.

“I always knew I wanted you. Wanted us. Yes. That hasn’t changed. Twenty years hasn’t changed anything for me. I’m still the same guy you knew all those years ago. The same guy who fell in love with you on the Bow Bridge.”

His words hung in the air, waiting.


The Author
Elyse’s  Website / Twitter /  Facebook  / Goodreads Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University.  She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a  speech-language pathologist.  She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed five novels: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.

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