Will You Be Mine? (2006)
In his first novel in 20 years, critically acclaimed
African-American writer Barry Beckham set out to write a love novel that
would sparkle with erotic fire and passion. He wanted to endow the
50-year-old main character of Will You Be Mine? with tender,
passionate sentiments as he searches for his soul mate.
But the unnamed main character is a black male, and his quest for his
earth angel gets tangled up with what Beckham sees as a world pretty much
hostile to the black man’s survival. How can you pursue successfully a
loving relationship when the society seems to be focused on annihilating
There are no simple answers. And this is no simple novel. What begins as a
narrative about a 50-year-old African-American photographer describing how
he finally finds his soul mate merges into something else. It’s another
rumination on the complex position of the black man who treads on various
landscapes—a theme that infuses all of Barry Beckham’s novels. But in Will
You Be Mine? the stakes are higher than ever. The very nature of the
republic itself suddenly becomes a theme that explodes unexpectedly out of
the narrative that started out exploring the spirit of romantic love.
And like each of his book-length creative works, this novel is a result of
a masterful control and exploration of fictional form. Each of Beckham’s
books stretches the form—thematically, stylistically, and
structurally—moving it beyond the norms of realism and the boundaries of
common points of view.
Like many modernist writers, he portrays a world that is filled with
absurdity. And who is more bizarre and out of place in today’s society
than the black man? Stylistically, for Beckham the modernist, our fleeting
thoughts, dreams, and remembrances of things past are all fertile
opportunities for creative development. Puns, allusions, metaphor, poetic
passages and other stylistic devices demonstrate his commitment to
language. And his characters stand out because of their memorable
idiosyncrasies—comic, positive and negative.
In the world of Will You Be Mine?, we encounter a college
basketball player revered because he never makes a shot. In college, the
narrator discovers, each time that he appears at a girl’s dormitory for a
date, that the coed no longer lives there. The narrator’s baby son
disappears after crawling back into history. Employed as a photographer at
a major news magazine, he never sees any of his photos published. His
father-in-law is swept up by a tornado and thrown into a black sky to
vanish. The narrator’s name? We never learn. How do we follow the story
line? He is talking to his Teddy bear.
Double Dunk: The Story Earl "The Goat" Manigault (1981)
Earl "The Goat" Manigault had what it takes to become a superstar:
incredible leaping ability, great timing, and unstoppable moves. He set a
New York City junior high school record by scoring 52 points in one game.
In high school and on the playgrounds of Harlem, he astonished opponents
with his acrobatic shots, including the patented double dunk. Although
seventy-two colleges offered him scholarships, lack of discipline and bad
breaks sent Manigault stumbling into a world of heroin addiction and petty
crimes for three years.
Runner Mack (1972)
Runner Mack is the compelling story of young Henry Adams' road to
self-discovery through his encounter and friendship with Runner Mack, a
self-styled black militant. Rich with metaphor and symbolism, the novel
portrays the "grand old game" of baseball as the symbol of America--for
whites, a sanctuary where the American dream is a reality, for blacks, a
nightmarish world filled with pain, chaos, and frustration.
My Main Mother (1969)
My Main Mother is a novel about growing up. Without a father. With
a mother who is beautiful, promiscuous, avidly ambitious. In a small town
in Maine. In the human jungle of New York. Growing up defiant and scared,
happy and torn up. Growing up black. And growing up human. It is, quite
simply, one of the most remarkable novels in years.
The College Selection Workbook (2005)
Choosing a college—the most significant decision in
every student’s educational life—all too often feels like a hit-or-miss
affair. But veteran educator Barry Beckham has systematized and
streamlined the process with a series of self-paced exercises designed to
match student and institution.
A Black Student's Guide to Scholarship for Black and
Does a college education seem like an impossible,
expensive dream? It doesn't have to. This indispensable guide to
scholarships for black and minority students will help turn your dream of
going to college into reality. Updated and enlarged, this is the top
reference tool listing the most important as well as little-known sources
of private financial aid for black and minority students.
The Black Student's Guide to Colleges
Conversations With Contemporary American Writers
(1985) by Sanford Pinsker
Includes Barry Beckham,
I. B. Singer,
Joyce Carol Oates,
Stephen Dunn, and
Click any of the following links for more information on similar topics of interest in relation to this page.
Is Listed As A Favorite Of
By First Name)
TO BE DETERMINED
By First Name)
[As of x]
TO BE DETERMINED