Low Road: The Life and Legacy of Donald Goines

Low Road: The Life and Legacy of Donald Goines

by Eddie B. Allen
     
 

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Donald Goines was a pimp, a truck driver, a heroin addict, a factory worker, and a career criminal. He was also one of world's most popular Black contemporary writers. Having published 16 novels, including Whoreson, Dopefiend, and Daddy Cool, Goines's unique brand of "street narrative" and "ghetto realism" mark him as the original street writer

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Overview

Donald Goines was a pimp, a truck driver, a heroin addict, a factory worker, and a career criminal. He was also one of world's most popular Black contemporary writers. Having published 16 novels, including Whoreson, Dopefiend, and Daddy Cool, Goines's unique brand of "street narrative" and "ghetto realism" mark him as the original street writer.

Now, in the first in-depth biography of Goines's life, author Eddie B. Allen explores exactly how one man could make the transition from street hustler to bestselling author. With exclusive access to personal letters, treatments from unwritten books, photographs, and family members, Allen uncovers Goines's personal experiences with drugs, prostitutes, prison, and urban violence. Fans of Goines's novels will note a dramatic parallelism between his life and his fictional tales.

Editorial Reviews

The short, violent life of novelist Donald Goines (1937-74) ended tragically, yet fittingly. "The father of ghetto realism" was sitting quietly at his typewriter, putting the finishing touches on his 17th, novel when a gunshot killed him. Eddie B. Allen's biography proves that nearly every aspect of Goines's life was exceptional. A longtime heroin addict and former pimp with with 15 arrests on his record, Goines began his writing career in a prison cell. His novels, like those of his mentor, Robert "Iceberg Slim" Beck, first became inner-city bestsellers, then moved successfully into mainstream national markets.
Publishers Weekly
It is indicative of both the explosive nature of Goines's subject matter (his works include Whoreson; Dopefiend and Black Gangster) and the timidity of the academy that Goines's achievement selling more than five million books of utterly uncompromised fiction has received little scholarly attention. Critic Allen's thorough and well-documented study will do much to change that, placing Goines's life and work in a coherent critical, historical and social frame. This book is clearly a labor of love, all the more creditable because Goines is often hard to like. A hustler, pimp and junkie who rejected his hard-working father's middle-class ethos, Goines hardly stood out from any number of doomed young men until, during a prison term, the spreading fame of Iceberg Slim reached him. The old story of redemption by art is vividly retold here, and the sense of Goines's growing awareness and ambition is well caught, as are the exigencies of paperback publication. Tragically, Goines could leave neither his addiction nor his violent past behind, and he was murdered a case that remains unsolved at the age of 35, in 1947. This work argues not only for a serious assessment of what Goines did achieve, but makes us mourn what he never got the chance to. Photos. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“[A] comprehensive look at the gritty novelist's own thug life, (Low Road) unfolds like a fast-paced thriller that mirrors Goines's popular bestsellers.” —Essence magazine

“In an in-depth biography of the original street-fiction author, Donald Goines, Allen examines the life of the late author who influenced all your favorite rappers.” —The Source

“Allen illuminates the life and writings of arguably the most influential chronicler of black urban life in the post-World War II era. Goines' legacy is maintained by a hip-hop generation that is just as invisible and ignored. Eddie B. Allen J...thankfully brings that legacy into even sharper focus.” —AOL BlackVoices

“For readers who are looking for the definitive story of Donald Goines's life, a wonderful addition to their bookshelves about black popular culture and its icons, and simply, a great read, this is the book.” —Black Issues Book Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466838628
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/13/2008
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
376,016
File size:
305 KB

Meet the Author

Eddie B. Allen is a freelance writer and has covered national figures such as Bill Clinton and Louis Farrakhan. He has been published in the New York Times, The Detroit News, the Philadelphia New Observer, and The Michigan Chronicle. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


EDDIE B. ALLEN has been published in The New York Times, The Detroit News and the Philadelphia New Observer. He lives in Detroit, Michigan

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