Life Out of Context

Life Out of Context

by Walter Mosley
     
 

Life Out of Context begins as a powerful, brooding and humorously honest examination of Mosley's own sense of cultural dislocation as an African American writer. But due to a series of serendipitous events — the screening of a documentary about Africa, an encounter with Harry Belafonte and Hugh Masakela — Mosley, rather like the protagonist in one of his

Overview


Life Out of Context begins as a powerful, brooding and humorously honest examination of Mosley's own sense of cultural dislocation as an African American writer. But due to a series of serendipitous events — the screening of a documentary about Africa, an encounter with Harry Belafonte and Hugh Masakela — Mosley, rather like the protagonist in one of his mystery novels, has a series of epiphanies on the role of a black intellectual in America. He asks: What can we do to fight injustice, poverty, exploitation, and racism? What is globalization doing to us? Through these late night meditations, Mosley attempts to transcend his earlier feelings of living a "life out of context" and seeks instead to find a political context. He ends with a call to arms, proposing that African Americans have to break their historic ties with the Democrat Party, and form a party of their own

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The isolation and ineffectuality of the American left is lamented in this brooding, somewhat unfocused cri de coeur. Writing primarily for an African-American audience, novelist Mosley (the Easy Rawlins mystery series) argues that today's political myopia and paralysis are caused by a lack of "context." Americans, he contends, dwell on their own problems while ignoring the global context of oppression and exploitation-in Iraq, Africa and elsewhere-in which they are complicit. They are in turn shut out of decision-making forums, whose agenda is set mainly by the narrow interests of the wealthy and privileged. The efforts of progressive groups, meanwhile, lack any unified context and rallying point, and are therefore fragmented and dispersed among a myriad of causes. These musings prompt a number of suggestions, some of which-like giant downtown video screens to project images of humanitarian crises abroad-the author almost immediately retracts. Mosley's most substantive proposal is to challenge the two-party duopoly with a black political party; unfortunately, however, he does not discuss ways to lower the formidable institutional barriers to third parties in the American electoral system. In the end, he falls back on platitudes about the need for citizens to get involved and speak truth to power. Fine sentiments, indeed, but they fall well short of a cogent guide to action. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560258469
Publisher:
Nation Books
Publication date:
01/09/2006
Pages:
103
Product dimensions:
4.92(w) x 7.58(h) x 0.31(d)

Meet the Author


Walter Mosley is the author of 19 books which, over the course of the fourteen years of his career, span two series of mysteries, literary fiction, science fiction, and political philosophy. He has been the recipient of many awards and honors unusual for a writer of fiction including a Grammy Award for his liner notes accompanying “Richard Pryor…And It’s Deep Too!: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992)” and the Sundance Institute Risk-Takers Award for 2004. He will be given an honorary doctorate this year by City College of New York. He was the founder of the first-ever degree program to help train publishing professionals and encourage publishing houses to hire more candidates of color at City College. In addition, PEN West will honor him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He has also been honored by TransAfrica Forum, was a recipient of the prestigious Anisfield Wolf Award, and served as editor for The Best American Short Stories of 2003.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
January 12, 1952
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
B.A., Johnson State College
Website:
http://www.waltermosley.com

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