Thursday, August 14, 2014

White Girl Gone Tribal


I want to go tribal, pound the earth with hands wide open, my butt high in the air.   I like to get funky.  I like to feel the earth under my feet and in my hands.  

I want my white-boy son to dance with abandon.  (So far, so good… When he was In Utero, I played hip-hop--Nelly and Salt n' Pepa, that kinda thing, no classical music for him.) 

Music and writing:  both require the participant to say, ‘To hell with inhibitions.  I came here to shake my ass!  I came to represent and show you what I got.’  Both require the participant to be loose and wild.  Both require us to dig deep.  Don’t reign things in until the revision stage or until the band has stopped playing. 

Music always plays a part in my writing. Mambo, Cha-Cha, classical, Beatles, Bowie, Stevie, there’s  no telling.  “Oh Mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head…” (The Smiths) in Above Us Only Sky (Simon and Schuster, 2015).  I love to dance.  I love to be swept up in rhythms, words and drums.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they dance.  Ditto with how they write.  My fourth novel, currently in progress, takes place partly in Cuba so I am studying Caribbean culture and rhythms.  My dear friend at Book Riot, Rebecca Schinsky, recommended THE LAND OF LOVE AND DROWNING by Tiphanie Yanique as a new and relevant novel I’d enjoy.  It takes place in the Virgin Islands as they are passed from Dutch to American hands.

Well, I am the kind of girl, dancer, and writer, who likes to pay homage to my compadres.  With that in mind, if you enjoy mythic tales of native islanders, those mixed-blood inhabitants of islands who lost their mixed roots, sand and hearts to American tourism, this is a must-read for you.   The story, incredibly and credibly dark and mythic, nearly makes you question if incest is such a bad thing!  As Madison Smart Belle writes in The Boston Globe, “Yanique has borrowed a few pieces of furniture from the Southern Gothic attic. In place of Faulkner’s preoccupation with miscegenation (sheer nonsense in Yanique’s fictional world), there is incest... But is it always a bad thing? The love of half-siblings … begets Youme, whose clubfoot ... and whose proud beauty becomes a totem for the islanders’ struggle to take back their own. Small islands can be incestuous places, and incest may stand for a certain way the mind has to fertilize — and fortify — itself. This novel builds its best effects rather slowly, but in the end Yanique succeeds in evoking the panorama of the Virgin Islands in a voice all her own.”

So, if you’re looking for a book of dark myths and legends, the kind of book where you can feel the water in your veins and the sand under your fingernails, I highly recommend The Land of Love
and Drowning.  It is a unique and beautifully written debut novel.  One of the main characters, Eeona, carries a silver jewel.  I will never forget this diamond.  Yanique writes with the same wild abandon her characters display.  I have great admiration for her talent.
So, here's to getting funky, to writing and dancing equally with abandon.  I'm so white, I imagine my ancestors were bad-ass Celtic priestesses who knew how to conjure all manner of magic with their beats.


Michele Young-Stone is the author of The Handbook for Lightning StrikeSurvivors (Crown, 2010) and the forthcoming Above Us Only Sky (Simon and Schuster, 2015).  She is currently working on a fourth novel.

Michele loves to write and dance.  Go figure.  



23 comments:

  1. Great post! Makes me want to dance and read, though maybe not at the same time :) I heard of that book and it sounded good, but now I definitely want to check it out!
    -Dana

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's so great that you express your feelings and emotions in music, dancing and writing. I have a friend whose frustration grew so high that she just put her feelings to writing, especially essay write online and I've been really enjoying her talent.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bài viết rất hay: Chúng tôi chuyên cung cấp các sản phẩm chất lượng sau:



    bồn massage



    bon ngam chan



    máy massage chân



    Cảm ơn các bạn!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bài viết rất hay: Chúng tôi có các dịch vụ in ấn chuyên nghiệp sau:



    in bao bì vỏ hộp

    in hộp bìa cứng

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bài viết rất hay: Chúng tôi chuyên cung cấp các sản phẩm chất lượng sau:



    Lều xông hơi gia đình giá rẻ



    Lều xông hơi giá bao nhiêu



    Lều xông hơi loại nào tốt nhất hiện nay



    Cảm ơn các bạn!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bài viết rất hay: Chúng tôi chuyên cung cấp các sản phẩm chất lượng sau:



    Tác dụng thần kì của bồn ngâm chân



    Máy ngâm chân thải độc



    Chậu ngâm chân giá rẻ



    Cảm ơn các bạn!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post! Makes me want to dance and read, though maybe not at the same time :) I heard of that book and it sounded good, but now I definitely want to check it out!
    nbi-clearance-site

    ReplyDelete
  8. Are you planning to tie the knot? Well, go for Horoscope Matching to ensure a blissful married life ahead! This sacred process warns about forthcoming marital troubles if any, so that proper remedies should be performed well in advance to get rid of those problems before they actually appear!

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you are interested to participate in the Customer Survey? visit this site and how to complete customer survey and win cash price

    bwwlistens.coms

    ReplyDelete
  10. An outstanding post! This guide gives me all the info to get started with JavaScript module syntax. I appreciate every step you shared. Feel free to visit my website; 카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is an excellent post I seen thanks to share it. It is really what I wanted to see hope in future you will continue for sharing such a excellent post Feel free to visit my website; 카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey, I am so thrilled I found your blog, I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and all round interesting website. Please do keep up the great work. I cannot be without visiting your blog again and again. Feel free to visit my website; 바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think this is one of the best blog for me because this is really helpful for me. Thanks for sharing this valuable information for free Feel free to visit my website; 바카라

    ReplyDelete

  14. Ace Group presented its new extravagance private property project Ace Divino in Sector-1 Greater Noida West or Noida Extension that makes certain to grab your eye. It offering 2BHK , 3BHK pads and lofts with best value list, Payment Plan, floor plan, Layout plan, Location guide and a-list current conveniences. visit:- Ace Divino

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site
    바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nice one! Thank you for sharing this post. Your blog posts are more interesting and impressive.
    카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  17. I will recommend your website to everyone. You have a very good gloss. Write more high-quality articles. I support you.
    토토

    ReplyDelete
  18. This was an extremely nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a top notch article.
    카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've been searching for hours on this topic and finally found your post. , I have read your post and I am very impressed. We prefer your opinion and will visit this site frequently to refer to your opinion. When would you like to visit my site?
    Your explanation is organized very easy to understand!!! I understood at once. Could you please post about ?? Please!!
    국내경마

    magosucowep

    ReplyDelete