Whatever occurred to Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins review – black energy and pathos

Whatever occurred to Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins review – black energy and pathos

Written through the 1960s and 70s, these posthumously posted stories from the rights that are civil and film-maker seem startlingly prescient

Radical fervour … Kathleen Collins. Photograph: Douglas Collins

Radical fervour … Kathleen Collins. Photograph: Douglas Collins

Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2021 12.45 GMT

W hen in 1975 Alice Walker, working as an editor on Ms. Magazine in ny, received a batch of tales from an unknown author, there must have been a moment of recognition: like Walker, fledgling author Kathleen Collins had been black, tertiary educated, a former civil rights activist and had married a man that is white.

Walker’s tardy response – “We kept these so long because we liked them a great deal … i needed buying them as a set” – could not disguise the courteous rejection that followed. The stories kept the company of woodlice in a trunk where Collins’s forgotten manuscripts lay yellowing and undisturbed for three decades. Now, through happenstance and the dedication of her child, visitors may be because surprised when I was by the rich selection of the experienced voice that is literary modern, confident, emotionally smart and humorous – that emerges through the pages regarding the posthumously published Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? […]