Notes from a Black Woman's Diary: Selected Works of Kathleen Collins

Ecco: HarperCollins. Feb. 2019. 464p. ed. by Nina Lorez Collins. ISBN 9780062800954. pap. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062800961. LIT
OrangeReviewStarPrior to her death in 1988 at age 46, Collins was best known for Losing Ground (1982), one of the first American feature films produced by an African American woman. Her renown grew with the excellent posthumously published short story collection Whatever Happened to Interracial Love. Now Collins's groundbreaking work as a writer, filmmaker, activist, and educator is rapidly being recognized. This collected volume of fiction, plays, and autobiographical material, edited by Collins's daughter Lorez Collins, adds to the author's evolving reputation. Of particular interest are the short story "Nina Simone," in which two narrators discuss their own troubled relationship through the lens of the famous singer; searing commentary on race and gender in the diaries; a potent excerpt from the unfinished novel Lollie: A Suburban Tale; and the Losing Ground screenplay (including copious directorial notes by the author).
VERDICT While not as eye-opening as Collins's earlier stories, this compilation will add appreciation for a talented writer whose life was cut too short as well as provide hope for the recovery of her previously unpublished work. Recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, 8/20/18.]—L.J. Parascandola, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn

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