How To Make Love To A Negro by Dany Laferrière
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Making love to a Negro isn't frightening; sleeping with him is. Sleep is complete surrender. It's more than nude; it's naked. Anything can happen during the night, when reason sleeps.” - Dany Laferriere, How To Make Love To A Negro
the complete title of this book is how to make love to a negro without getting tired. apparently the combination of black men and white women bonking is fairly combustible subject matter the world over -- even canada's montreal, a place that constantly reassures us is free of racial tension/problems. mr. laferriere is well aware of all of this and works every bit of it to the hilt. what's interesting is the way he delves into why interracial relationships with white women are such a threat to white men. this book -- his first novel! -- is white hot brilliant and just as fresh and relevant as when it was published in 1985. this stuff is free-wheeling and provocative and it just pops right off the page.
i love the way he and his african roommate discuss classical literature and philosophy and art and sex and food and life, the way he dissects a coltrane solo while going off on some stream of consciousness rant about rich white people and how bizarre it is to wander through their mansions when they aren't there and have violent dispassionate sex with their seemingly chaste daughters, the way he listens to big band jazz and vocalists like ella fitzgerald as his thoughts slide between communism, the last white girl he had and how wierd she was, and marinating a pigeon he killed in the park for that week's last summer day because he's so perpetually broke. heh.
so much of this reads like stream-of-consciousness prose -- smart, insightful, bitter, and very very funny. it spun out so easily, like i fell into his private thoughts, and he let me stay there for as long as i wanted. because i read/heard/knew most if not all of what he referenced, the book became almost four dimensional and i enjoyed it even more. not surprisingly, there were critics who assumed a black man DIDN'T write it, because he would have to be a certain kind of literate/well read/educated to have referenced the things he did.
all in all, a really good read.
ps: if you want another kick in this direction, i highly recommend "heading south," (written by dany l.) set in the 70s about older white female tourists who go to the beaches of haiti to be sexually serviced by beautiful young boys.
View all my reviews