Inverting Lovecraft

07.23.2020 - By Imaginary Worlds

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The works of H. P. Lovecraft have inspired a number of Black creators and other writers of color, from the new HBO series Lovecraft Country to the novella The Ballad of Black Tom. What’s so surprising about Lovecraft’s newfound relevance is that he was exceptionally racist, and racism was folded into his stories. In the era of cancel culture, there are few people more apt to be cancelled than Lovecraft. So why are so many writers, filmmakers, and even game designers of color using Lovecraft’s mythology to illustrate the experience of being a marginalized person? I talk with novelist Victor LaValle, novelist Premee Mohamed, Michigan State University professor Kinitra Brooks, and UCR Irvine professor and illustrator John Jennings about how to separate a bigoted writer from his brilliant mythology. Also featuring readings by actor Varick Boyd.
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle:
Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed
Box of Bones by John Jennings and Ayize Jama Everett

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