As I’ve been searching for new books to read, I saw that Roxane Gay had recommended Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins on her personal GoodReads account. Collins was a professor of film history and screenwriting at the City College of the City University of New York in the 70’s and 80’s and her film Losing Ground was one of the first written and directed by a black woman filmmaker. She sadly died of breast cancer at the age of 46 in 1988.
After her death, Collins’ daughter inherited her unpublished works and in recent years has begun to release her mother’s work to the public. Whatever Happened to Interracial Love is a collection of short stories which were part of her daughter’s inheritance.
I loved this book. While some of the stories are very compact, they each paint a different picture of the lives of black artists and intellectuals and the complexities in their relationships with their families, lovers and the world around them. Collins does an excellent job of developing her characters in a few short pages and each story pulled me in and had me empathizing with the characters.
Though it only took me a couple of days to finish as it’s very compact, I’d highly recommend reading this book if you’re interested in stories about the black experience that are not often told in popular culture.
You can read the first story from this collection on Vice here.