YELLOW DOG DREAMING

yellowdogBy Kenny Mann

Illustrated by Gabriele T. Raacke

Wiseacre Press, Patchogue, NY 1995

This is a collection of short stories about relationships between black and white men and women in Africa. The books are hand- made and beautifully illustrated by artist Gabriel Tanzel Raacke in stark black-and-white drawings that evoke the psychological undertow of the stories.

NEW YORK TIMES

Blending the Internet With Publishing Styles of Victorian Era

By THOMAS CLAVIN
Published: January 21, 1996
CAN the practices of writers and editors of Victorian England determine how books will be read and marketed in the 21st century?

A Long Island publisher is seeking to find out, and so far has learned that those practices, rather than being old-fashioned, when combined with the advantages of cyberspace, may well be on the cutting edge.

In 1993 Laurance Wieder, a widely published poet and former professor at Yale and Princeton, and two partners, Linda and Michael Josefowicz, founded Red Sea, a publishing company based in Patchogue. Their goal was to issue collections of short stories, poetry and essays that ordinarily would not be published by larger houses.

More than two years later Red Sea and its imprint, Wiseacre Books, has released more than a dozen volumes. While a few have been written by first-time writers, more well-known authors like Thomas Disch and Richard Snow have also been published by the company. In the process, Mr. Wieder has found a way to get the books read and sold by blending 18th- and 19th-century methods with the Internet to become a “virtual publishing house.”

The initial motivation for founding Red Sea and Wiseacre coupled with the low-overhead publishing and marketing aspects have meant that some writers whose work would not find a home at major houses are reaching an audience.

One example is Kenny Mann of Sag Harbor, who was born and raised in Kenya. For 15 years she has been writing stories about Africa and the relationship between racial groups there. In September Wiseacre published “Yellow Dog Dreaming,” a collection of some of the stories illustrated by Gabrielle Tanzel Raacke of East Hampton, who is a native of Germany.

Ms. Mann said that the stories were a personal project and that she had not sought a publisher. But after a reading at a local bookstore, Naomi Lazard, whose poetry was published by Wiseacre, suggested sending a sample to Mr. Wieder.

“Larry liked the material, and it’s so pleasing to have someone say he wants to publish your work,” said Ms. Mann, who had two nonfiction books about Africa, “Ghana, Mali and Songhay” and “Oyo, Benin and Ashanti,” published by Simon and Schuster/Dillon Press in November. “Especially in this case, because these are controversial stories about racial and cultural differences that I didn’t expect would see the light of day.”

She has not gone on the Internet yet to discuss “Yellow Dog Dreaming” with readers but she is looking forward to the experience. “I’ve done public readings,” she said, “but with them a very small audience is hearing for the first time only a small portion of your work.

“On the net, I’ll be in contact with any number of people who have actually read the stories and are prepared to comment on it.”

Read more here.

This book is out of print.

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