by Cynthia Rodriguez
"WHAT GOES AROUND COMES BACK AROUND"
by C.D Kirven
Ghetto fab. This is one of those books I would describe as such. Where I come from, that's not necessarily a bad thing, although I know a lot of people would take that the wrong way or who would not see that in the most positive light. This book lured me in and wouldn't let me go.
I don't come across many books at all that delve into the Black GLBTQI community, so this was very refreshing. It may not be for everyone, not so much because of any race or nationality issues, but because it specifically revolves around "Generation X",(which I'm a part of), and hip-hop culture, (which I pretty much grew up around).
The book has been compared to the famous, E. Lynn Harris's (R.I.P, who just passed last month), "Invisible Life". I've heard much about it. Unfortunetly, I have not had the pleasure of experiencing any of his work, however, I plan on working on that.
First, I'd like to mention that this is a product of OUTSKIRTS PRESS. One of those self-publishing companies. I wanted to mention that because I feel that people who do that definitely deserve serious props for putting themselves out there like that and doing it on their own. I just find that very impressive. I feel it shows great initiative and self-discipline. I believe I read somewhere that Mr. Harris's debut novel (the one mentioned above) was also self-published, and at one point was selling them from the trunk of his car.
Another thing I'd like to reveal is that if you look up C.D Kirven, she is quite the multi-media artist. She is an author, artist, activist, and film maker. Gotta love those cross-over, multi-talented artists. She also has a cool line of accessories. That C.D, she's a smart one. Yep, I'll definitely be getting one of her t-shirts...
So, bringing it back to C.D Kirven's debut novel, it is one of those coming of age, coming out stories about our main character, Kingsley. We follow her and her friends from her delinquent like teen years in the hood, into adulthood. Along the way of her trials and tribulations, she learns, and re-learns the hard way, the old saying she remembers, I believe, from her Grandmother, "what goes around, comes back around".
Along her path to self-discovery, we meet some gaudy characters that cross her path, some that are there for the moment, the season, or who are consistent throughout the whole book. Pretty much the only ones who stuck to me where Kingsley herself, and her homegirl Tanya. Being that I can relate to her background, I can say, anyone else who can relate has a "Tanya" in their life.
Witnessing all these people, places, and things in Kingsley's life that lead her to breaking out of her cocoon to do and live and love the way she wants is a learning and inspiring experience. She is a superb example for anyone craving to escape the "DL" (down low) life style, and those just struggling to get out of "living a lie".
Kirven touches on some serious, timely issues such as Aids, among others, which I give her credit for, not putting it in a preachy manner, but just a story telling, "that's just the way it is" way.
I feel you C.D Kirven. I understand. They don't say "karma's a bitch" for nothin'. Any offense, large and small, will always end up biting you in the ass. Perhaps that would explain the constant aching in my posterior area...
(on a side note: Shout out to a slammin' website for readers called "Sistahs on the Shelf" which features a good interview with the author)