Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fun with Zane at My Local Library

I think I've blogged here before about my new research project. I'm writing about contemporary black popular/market fiction--those books that are in face out displays at the bookstore during AA history month. The ones about baby mama drama and urban angst and freaky threesomes. I've been reading a ton of this stuff all summer and have finally come to Zane's work.

In typical academic fashion, when I decided it was time to read Zane's work, I decided it was time to read *all* of Zane's work. As her particular brand of erotica isn't exactly the kind of thing carried by my university library, I turned to the public library. I requested all the Zane books in the system and had them delievered to my local branch. Last Friday, I go the library and check out Twent-Six Princesses for Cate and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing for Frances. At the desk, the librarian says I have four books on hold and brings me the ones pictured above. There was awkward silence as the librarian looked at me, then my children, then back at the smutty books I was checking out. I tried to be adult and rise above the embarassment I was feeling, but wound up just scooping up the books and rushing out the library.

We are in that library all the time. All the librarians there know my children by name. There are three more Zane books (with equally provocative covers, I'm sure) waiting for me to pick up. Can I say to them, "This is research. Really." I think I'll have to send Brian.

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