RARA-AVIS: Re: I Spit On Your Graves

From: Al Guthrie ( allanguthrie@ukonline.co.uk)
Date: 26 Oct 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Robison" < zspider@gte.net>

> Incidentally, was it you, Al, that recommended Vian's I SPIT ON YOUR
> GRAVES? I've just about finished it. It's pretty darned hardcore. I
> they banned it in France!

I did indeed recommend this complicated little hardboiled book about revenge, written by a white Frenchman pretending to be a black American writing a novel about a black man pretending to be white. It was first published in 1946 in France, ostensibly as a translation by Boris Vian of a work by an unknown black American author called Vernon Sullivan who had been shunned by American publishers. In fact, Vernon Sullivan was as fictional as any of the books' characters. Following a discussion with his wife and publisher, Boris Vian wrote I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVES in two weeks with the express purpose of creating a bestseller. By 1949, when it was banned in France, SPIT had sold over half a million copies.


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