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Urban Romance: A Novel of New York in the '80s

Urban Romance: A Novel of New York in the '80s

by Nelson George

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A well-known critic of popular culture ( Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos ) George's first attempt at fiction is unfortunately clumsy. Dwayne Robinson, an aspiring music critic and intellectual bad boy from Brownsville (via St. John's University), falls in love with Danielle Embry, a dreamy Yale graduate from Connecticut who edits books for Doubleday but has her eye on the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Set in the early '80s, it gives the author an opportunity to show his wide knowledge of the b-boy subculture that Dwayne is busy writing about and that his friend Reggie is busy promoting. Dwayne struggles with his deepening feelings for Danielle while she, now in her first hectic year at Columbia, holds him at arm's length. Squabbles and tension are more frequent until Danielle realizes she is pregnant and the two must face decisions about commitment and ambition. George's characters are flat and the prose can be downright painful (``Danielle looked delicious, and Dwayne was grinning like he wanted a taste.''), retarding a potentially decent plot. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Dwayne Robinson, the protagonist of Ur ban Romance, might just be Nelson George in the early Eighties: He's a freelance writer and music critic for the Village Voice , Essence, and Billboard , waiting for inspiration for his first book. (George's own first book wasn't on music, but it does deal with black culture, as do his later books, such as Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos, LJ 1/93). Dwayne lives in two worlds--the world of poor black New York, b-boys, just-rising rap music, and the world of buppies, black middle-class urban professionals. Disdaining buppies, Dwayne nevertheless is pushed toward them by his new love, Columbia journalism graduate student Danielle, whose suburban New Jersey upbringing contrasts strongly with Dwayne's Brooklyn background. Much more than just an ``urban romance,'' this book uses the relationship between Dwayne and Danielle to explore black music, politics, and urban life. Despite some stilted dialog, too stiff characters, and unlikely coincidences, this novel is highly recommended for popular collections.-- Francine Fialkoff, ``Library Journal''

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 5.84(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Nelson George is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. He has written for Playboy, Billboard, Esquire, the Village Voice, Essence, and many other national magazines, as well as writing and producing television programs and feature films.

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