Re: RARA-AVIS: More thanks to Mr. Sallis

Date: 29 Feb 2004


I didn't choose an African American protagonist: he chose me. I was writing the story that later became the first section of The Long-Legged Fly, thirty or so pages in, wondering about the source of this guy's anger and rage, when it suddenly came to me: Of course! He's black!

It's amazing how obtuse we can be sometimes.

So I went back and rewrote, and the whole thing began unfolding for me.

You're quite correct, though, that Himes was a strong influence -- his life, actually, more than the mysteries. I'd been reading a lot of his work and had written a longish essay for one of the literary magazines I regularly published in, so I wound up dancing with the one that brought me.


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