Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Local lit

By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Coming Home to the Motherland: A Journey from Self Hate

Jim Harris, actor, poet, musician, trade unionist and college professor, can add author to his resume. Coming Home (JH&A Books; $15) is the Lincoln Heights writer's account of 22 years in and out of Africa for a process he calls recovering "the inner seed of identity that is intimately bound to the Motherland."

The chatty, witty, easygoing book is partly a chronicle of the black experience - politics, music, arts, class consciousness, racial and cultural identity - but also a wonderfully detailed tour of life in Africa - from the hustle of Johannesburg to the lazy, hazy days of summer in a quiet village in the mountains of Lesotho.

Harris is willing to talk about it at schools, churches and other groups. Contact him at 872-0574.

I Believe ...

The mime speaks. Curtis Zimmerman, a mime out of Dayton, has a new book called I Believe ...What Do You Believe (Zimmerman Productions; $14.95) and he's worked up enough about it to break his mime-like silence. He'll talk about it at 7 p.m. Thursday at Books and Co., 350 E. Stroop Road, Kettering.

I Believe is sort of interactive: It's 95 statements that begin with "I believe ... " followed by a short reflection designed to get readers to think about - and maybe refine - their own belief systems. Check him out at www.curtiszimmerman.com.

Vampire Kisses

Ellen Schreiber, the Cincinnati woman who introduced us to the underwater subculture of mermaid life (Teenage Mermaid, Harper Collins; $15.99), is digging into another subculture.

This time it's the bloody world of the undead in Vampire Kisses (Harper Collins; $15.99), the story of goth girl Raven and town newcomer Alexander Sterling. He's dark, handsome, elusive and lives with his family in a house believed to be haunted.

And everyone thinks he's a vampire.

Like Mermaid, Vampire is a first-love type romance aimed at the young adult market. It also has enjoyed considerable success in Europe, where it was published last year.

The Hundredth Man

Newport author and former ad exec Jack Kerley reads from his debut novel, The Hundredth Man, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at York Street Cafe, 738 York St., Newport. The novel was acquired by Dutton for six figures, something that seldom happens with a debut novel. The book is due next summer.


E-mail jknippenberg@enquirer.com

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