New Novel Explodes The Lid Off All Those Striking Dockworkers In Houston
A dockworker's strike in Houston? When was the last time we had a dockworker's strike in Houston?
We're not sure, but such an event plays a key role in a new novel that got a big-time review in The New York Times yesterday.
Black Water Rising, by an author named Attica Locke, concerns a black man who is an old flame of a blonde woman who is, in the 1981 timeframe of the book, mayor of Houston.
The mayor, according to the Times, "has a stiff blond head of helmet hair, an important office and a politician's survival skills." Kathy Whitmire, we hardly knew ye!! (Of course, in real life Whitmire ended up marrying a registered sex offender.)
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. St. Thomas University Men's Basketball
TicketsWed., Dec. 21, 7:00pm
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl
TicketsWed., Dec. 28, 8:00pm
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. Middle Tennessee State Univ Blue Raiders Mens Basketball
TicketsThu., Jan. 5, 7:00pm
PRCA XTreme Bulls
TicketsFri., Jan. 6, 7:30pm
Reviewer Janet Maslin says the book is "atmospheric [and] richly convoluting."
Maslin says of Cynthia the mayor and Jay the black guy:
The year is 1981. Eleven years earlier, as a student at the University of Houston, Jay wore a dashiki, a goatee and a militant air. Cynthia, Jay remembers, was a noisily outspoken member of Students for a Democratic Society, a white girl drawn to black radicals "as sure as if the Temptations had come to town."
Now Cynthia has a stiff blond head of helmet hair, an important office and a politician's survival skills. Jay has a struggling law practice and a deep, gnawing sense of self-doubt. If he often feels as if others might betray him, he can thank Cynthia for some of that; she fell right out of love with him when he faced trumped-up charges of conspiring to incite violence. She vanished when he stood trial.
There's a rescue from drowning in a bayou; there are scenes set, as the Times says, in "places like the huge country-and-western club Gilley's, known for its starring role in the film Urban Cowboy."
And there's the dockworkers strike, which will "lead to Chinatown-style conspiratorial rumblings, with oil supplanting water as the natural resource worth killing for."
The author's website says she's a Houston native who's now a screenwriter in LA. Getting a review in the Times is a nice boost.
And who knows, maybe one of these days Houston will have a dramatic dockworkers' strike.
Update: A morning check of Slampo's Place reveals that Attica Locke is the daughter of mayoral candidate Gene Locke, which we did not know when we wrote this yesterday.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.