Skin Overcoat is a novel of 135,000. Set in contemporary England, it covers stern ground:
Race & identity: who decides who’s black?
Black/white duplicity (including sexual)
Overview: Jimmy’s a talented young composer. Yet more and more self-conscious because of being black in a racially unsure England. Apart from music, his refuge is in accountable women: black women on one side of the road, white in the mist.
Eventually the picture is clear. A bleak old man points out that a version of the Black Panthers had been in 1970s England: the way ahead seemed sure in those days but nobody saw hypocrites lurking. Now, key signposts are blank; they could use a new coat of paint. But who’s to do it?
America, South Africa, the UK, anywhere with ethnic doubts: Skin Overcoat is one place to get beyond ethnic cliches. It is published by Searchwell Books (ISBN 978-0-9552841-2-0).
Searchwell Books, PO BOX 52175, London E8 9AX, England.
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