Three of the Wayans--Keenen, Shawn and Marion--from that clan of outrageously funny, enduring and endearing comedians, will produce a series of books with cartoons, 101 Ways to Know You're.... The books were sold to Elizabeth Beier of Griffin Trade Paperback, with publication to begin this fall, by Rick Alvarez of Wayans Bros. Productions and Tracy Fisher of William Morris Agency. Shawn was coauthor of 150 Ways to Tell If You're Ghetto (Dell, June 1997).
The books by the comedic siblings are billed as similar to Snaps: The African American Art of Verbal Warfare and other books in the Snaps series by James Percelay, Monteria Ivey and Stephan Dweck (Harper, 1994) and to the Yo' Mama! books by Snap C. Pop and Kid Rank (Berkley Publishing Group), published in the 1990s. The title of the Wayans' book series also borrows from 101 Ways to Know You're "Black" in Corporate America by Deborah A. Watts (Watts Five Productions, 1998).
Recent deals in the publishing Industry show that demand for titles by or of special interest to African Americans is still on the rise. Following are some recent examples: Most were reported first by Publisher's Marketplace. (Look for more deals in all categories on our Web site, www.bibookreview.com. Publishers, agents and authors may send news of deals directly to Black Issues Book Review. See the e-mail address below.)
ESTHER IVEREM's book We Gotta Have It, which will explore African American filmmaking since Spike Lee burst on the scene, bringing a new black sense and sensibility to cinema, was sold to Anita Diggs at Thunder's Mouth Press in January. Iverem is the creator of the Web site seeingblack.com, as well as a former cultural critic for The Washington Post and a former writer for The New York Times and New York Newsday. "The book is a provocative exploration of how the vision of the original New Wave pioneers has morphed and branched out into film--from the very 'high' to the very 'low,'" Iverem says. "There are obvious and nuanced issues of commerce versus art; divergent images, access and opportunities for black men and women, both in front of and behind the camera; the impact of hip-hop; the impact of the documentary movement and often humorous particulars of this burgeoning film community, such as the goings-on at film festivals and casting calls."
For the book, she interviews Lee and other leaders in the film industry, including Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who wrote the award-winning...