Have you ever read a book, and right in the middle of it, had it dawn on you that the author was insane? I’m not talking about when you read something that you know the author is not playing with a normal deck, like, Mein Kempf. I mean, when you are reading a book innocently, thinking that the author is surely an educated, level minded person, and then you notice that he must be a raving loony.
It happened to me twice.
The first time, I was reading Frances Cress Welsing’s The Isis Papers. It was given to me by a very passionate young man who was involved in the black power struggle, and I was entering a militant phase in my life.
I was enjoying the book a great deal. I am aware that folks know Frances is loony, but I didn’t know that at the time. I am aware that people think she isn’t smart, and that the book held no value, and I don’t agree with that view. But I do agree that the woman is nuts. She simply is. I told my friend that, and he had to admit, she is not wrapped tight.
The second time this happened is more interesting to me, cause I haven’t met anyone that seems to agree with me here; but it was a Toni Morrison book. The Bluest Eye was indeed an interesting book. I am not saying the woman doesn’t know how to write…she does. But the realization did dawn on me as I read that book, “This woman is insane.”
I wonder if anyone else has had that thought hit them, and if it colored their response to the author’s other work. For me it did in the case of Frances Cress Welsing, but it did not in the case of Toni Morrison. I am not a huge fan of her other work though.