Nkosi Ife Bandele


Working as a critic, I began writing professionally in response to the film I’m Gonna Git You Sucka by Keenan Ivory Wayans. I felt that the film was a dirty trick to promote African American stereotypes while purporting to satirize them. It signaled a move since further exploited by artists such as Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino in their likewise demeaning works, though very few critics seem to notice.

My novels, The Ape is Dead! and Scott Free, feature African American protagonists, who defy stereotypes, and all varieties of racism, while pursuing their own unique spaces and creative outlets.

The Ape is Dead! has been published by Crimson Cloak Publishing and is currently available in both print and eBook form. An excerpt, The Ignored and The Despised, is the lead short story of Crimson Cloak's literary anthology Love Matters. Additional excerpts appear in Akashic Books, Hobart magazine, Crescendo City magazine, and great weather for MEDIA literary anthology.

Excerpts from my second novel, Scott Free, are featured in Moonshot magazine and Akashic Books.

I am also the author of the screenplay Love is Crazy, a Writer’s Digest award-winner.

I studied literature at Columbia University, and I currently lecture at several New York City universities.

I live in New York City.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
The protagonist of my novel, "The Ape is Dead!," doesn’t wanna be a “soft brother” hooked up a white girl, but damn his white girlfriend is cool, and fine! His so-called liberal college is politicized to the extreme, with a variety of interested parties insisting that he color-coordinate-date, and so he punks out and dumps his girl, and in the process learns about love, life, and the choices we make. "The Ape is Dead!" will be published by Crimson Cloak Publishing this year.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
An agent once told me that inasmuch as my protagonists are young African American men I am writing for the "demographic least likely to read." I wasn't upset upon hearing that. I calmly informed her that I am writing for anyone who enjoys a good story and is curious to know more about his or her human experience. As Ralph Ellison rather brilliantly ends his novel "Invisible Man": "Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?"

Nevertheless, the agent did help me to understand that I was unlikely to find representation that would believe in or, for that matter, appreciate my vision. Moreover, unlike many in the industry currently, I maintain a high level of respect for readership that craves a story well told and explored. In general, I feel that the intelligence of readers is underappreciated, and even contemptuously disregarded. Thus, I came to the conclusion that I should put my most sincere efforts in distributing my best work to the best of my ability.
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This member has not published any books.