Monday, February 8, 2010

Author of the Month - Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due — pronounced tah-nah-nah-REEVE doo — is the American Book Award-winning author of several books, ranging from supernatural thrillers to a mystery to a civil rights memoir. Blood Colony (released in June 2008), is the long-awaited sequel to her 2001 thriller The Living Blood and 1997’s My Soul to Keep, a reader favorite that Stephen King said “bears favorable comparison to Interview with the Vampire. Blood Colony continues the saga of African immortals with healing blood.

Due also collaborates with her husband, novelist and screenwriter Steven Barnes. They recently sold their screenplay adaptation of her novel The Good House to Fox Searchlight studios. In the summer of 2007, Due and Barnes published their first mystery, Casanegra: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel, which they wrote in collaboration with actor Blair Underwood. Publishers Weekly called Casanegra “seamlessly entertaining.” The series continued with In the Night of the Heat and From Cape Town with Love, scheduled for publication in May 2010.

The Living Blood, which received a 2002 American Book Award, “should set the standard for supernatural thrillers of the new millennium,”said Publishers Weekly, which named The Living Blood and My Soul to Keep among the best novels of the year. The Good House was nominated as Best Novel by the International Horror Guild.The Black Rose based on the life of business pioneer Madam C.J. Walker, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. My Soul to Keep and The Good House are both in film development at Fox Searchlight.

Due’s novel Joplin’s Ghost blends the supernatural, history and the present-day music scene as a rising R&B singer’s life is changed forever by encounters with the ghost of Ragtime King Scott Joplin. Due also brought history to life in The Black Rose, a historical novel based on the research of Alex Haley – and Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, which she co-authored with her mother, civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due. Freedom in the Family was named 2003's Best Civil Rights Memoir by Black Issues Book Review (Patricia Stephens Due took part in the nation’s first “Jail-In” in 1960, spending 49 days in jail in Tallahassee, Florida, after a sit-in at a Woolworth lunch counter).

In 2004, alongside such luminaries as Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison, Due received the “New Voice in Literature Award” at the Yari Yari Pamberi conference co-sponsored by New York University’s Institute of African-American Affairs and African Studies Program and the Organization of Women Writers of Africa.
-excerpts above from Tananarive Due's website

My personal favorites from Ms. Due are The Black Rose and the Tennyson Hardwick series. Her writing really brought Madame C.J. Walker to life for me and I appreciate the Hardwick series for the covers with Blair Underwood's naked back! I'm also a big fan of The Good House and The Blood Colony series. I'm usually too much of a chicken to venture into the supernatural, but her writing is just too delicious to resist.

Do you have a favorite by the author?

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