Saturday, February 27, 2010

Urban Fiction - Feature Author's February - Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines

Title: Black Girl Lost
Author: Donald Goines
Genre: Urban Fiction

I was first introduced to Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines books as a teenager. When I read the books based on their lives, I was shocked. The language was a true reflection of the life they lead. In my opinion, IceBerg Slim and Donald Goines were the original writers of the urban fiction genre, although that term came into existence much later. Their writings are very gritty and give readers a glimpse into the dark life of pimpdom and ghetto life.It has been such a long time since I read either of these authors, but I wanted everyone to take a look back in time during African American History Month and read some true original urban fiction books that are a part of the African American culture and experience.

If you have not read either of these authors, you are in for a shock. Many of the urban authors that write today glamorize the hood life, but these two authors show the darker side and leave nothing to the imagination.Robert Goines, the African American writer who turned out 16 novels under his own name and his pseudonym, Al C. Clark, in his brief literary career, was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1937.In 1952, Goines enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at the age of 17, lying about his age to enlist. During his three-year stint in U.S.A.F. blues, he became a heroin addict while stationed in Korea and Japan, a monkey on his back that clung to him when he rejoined civilian life in 1955.Goines had first, while barred up and reduced to wearing prison stripes, tried his hand at writing westerns, but he was uninspired by the genre.

However, he found his muse when he discovered the writings of the ultra-cool Iceberg Slim, the legendary pimp and raconteur. Iceberg Slim's works such as his seminal Pimp inspired Goines to write the semi-autobiographical Whoreson, a novel about a mack born to his trade as the son of a street-walker. Whoreson was brought out in 1972 by Slim's publisher, Holloway House, which specialized in African American works. It was his second published novel, after 1971's Dopefiend: The Story of a Black Junkie. Donald Goines and his wife were shot to death on October 21, 1974, under circumstances that remain a mystery. Some people believe they were killed in a drug deal that went wrong. (Retrieved 1/31/10,

Black Girl Lost
Sandra was a child born to a mother who loved alcohol more than her own child's life. While she was partying hard, Sandra was crying from starvation, missing her education because her clothes were always the source of ridicule at her school.

Things all changed when she found some balloons of raw uncut dope, and joined forces with Chink, the ugliest most well-dressed drug-dealer in school. He became her first lover and the only person who looked out for her more than herself. Chink came from a similar situation as Sandra and shared in her pain. This book is a roller coaster of action from Chink and Sandra getting busted, to a rape, and finally murder.

You have to get the book to find out all the juicy details because I don't want to give the whole book away. This is the ghetto love story of a lifetime and everyone should read this book.

Reviewed by Vanessia Young,

Have you read any of Donald Goines’ books? If so, let us know what you think of this author. Do you find his books to be more real than the urban fiction books of today and how do you think his writing inspired the writings of authors today?

1 comment:

jadey2000 said...

I have adoration for Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, real talk.Thanks for this

- Jay