Advance Praise for Kathleen Collins, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?

“From the first page you know you're in the hands of an exceptional writer, and this would be an undiluted joy if not for the fact Kathleen Collins' voice was never fully heard in her own lifetime. To be this good and yet to be ignored is shameful, but her rediscovery is a great piece of luck, for us. Collins' stories are passionate and light-footed, angry but also delicate – they move like quicksilver, conjuring up character, theme and situation in a couple of pages. She edits precisely – like the film maker she was – and she's deliciously funny. She speaks of the many-sided lives of black women with care and intelligence. I adored this book”

—Zadie Smith, author of Swing Time


“Sexy and radical and intimate.”

—Miranda July, author of The First Bad Man


“The stories of Kathleen Collins are sharp, tender, and precise—full of wit and pleasure. Reading her feels like eavesdropping on an electric historical moment from a secret perch just above the kitchen table. I lost myself in these stories with a sense of wrestling and delight, grateful for the crackles and surprises they continually delivered.”

—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams


“Kathleen Collins's is an extraordinary voice, with an immediacy and freshness that make it seem all the more cruel that she's not around to give us more of her sharp, witty stories.”

—Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men


“These stories offer a sharp, clear, unsentimental vision of race in the sixties, the mingling of politics and desire, the search for place that will be both exotic and familiar to modern readers, richly historical and utterly recognizable.”

—Katie Roiphe, author of In Praise of Messy Lives and The Violet Hour


“Reading Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, published nearly three decades after Kathleen Collins’s passing, feels like discovering a lost treasure. Here is the past perfectly preserved—to be young, in love or in lust, to be black and righteous in the thick of the civil rights movement. At the same time, this jewel of a book illuminates big, timeless themes of familial ties and self-determination, group affinity and individualism, lovers and the power plays between them in a way that feels completely new. The world is a bit richer with these stories now among us.”

—Bliss Broyard, author of One Drop


“In this slim, devastating collection, Kathleen Collins writes of interracial America like no one before or since. This is a daringly complex vision of both blackness and whiteness by a writer who was utterly ahead of her time.”

—Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia


“Kathleen Collins writes with an immediacy and vividness that is exhilarating to read. She inhabits a landscape that sidesteps political or sexual correctness in favor of emotional truth-telling. Her men and women are conscious of their race without letting it intrude on their navigations through life or their choices of partners. Throughout it all there is a brio that is contagious.”

—Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment


“Kathleen Collins has the dramatist’s gift for multiple voices and viewpoints. Here are parents and children, blacks and whites, blacks and other blacks, lovers (together and apart); here are, intellectuals, artists, dreamers, strivers, braggarts and idealists: all struggling to justify their lives to each other and to themselves. How well she understands mixed motives, emotions and bloodlines. Histories and legacies at cross-purposes. Elective and compulsive affinities, both intellectual and erotic. How unlucky we were to lose her. And how lucky we are to have these stories.”

—Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland


“This book is one of the most eloquent statements I have read of what it was like to be black and young and alive in the 1960s. I applaud its publication.”

—Vivian Gornick, author of The Odd Woman and the City


“It is a delightful literary discovery that the creator of the landmark film, ‘Losing Ground,’ also turned her hand to fiction. The stories collected here are witty and revealing, and together constitute an unearthed gem of black women’s fiction.”

—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author of And Still I Rise


“Published for the first time nearly 30 years after the author's death at age 46, this gorgeous and strikingly intimate short story collection focuses on the lives and loves of black Americans in the 1960s…. A pioneering African-American playwright, filmmaker, and activist best known for her 1982 feature film Losing Ground, Collins has a spectacular sense of dialogue. These are stories where nothing happens and everything happens, stories that are at once sweeping and very, very small. Though most of the pieces span only a few pages, they are frequently overwhelmingly rich—not just in their sharp takes on sex, race, and relationships, but in the power and music of their sentences. Collins' prose is so precise and hypnotic that no amount of rereading it feels like enough. Astonishing and essential. A gem.” ­

—STARRED, Kirkus


“Race, gender, love, and sexuality are portrayed beautifully and humanely in this previously unpublished collection of stories from groundbreaking African-American filmmaker and civil rights activist Collins, who died in 1988 at the age of 46. ... Full of candor, humor, and poise, this collection, so long undiscovered, will finally find the readers it deserves.”

—STARRED, Publishers Weekly


“The writing is practically visceral; straightforward and crisp, leaving you wanting more and thinking about what you just read.”



“This previously unpublished collection of her stories will have many readers wishing they’d seen her work before. Offered here are acute and lucidly rendered narratives ... With a quick but searing touch of the brush, Collins crosses racial, gender, and generational divides, and her readers will, too.”

Library Journal