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A Matter of Attention

Torrance Stephens (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-1505-4 ©2003
Price: $11.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 129 pages
Category/Subject: FICTION / General

"Raw and erudite, Tbone's writing is philosophical lyricism with a sensual edge. In the tradition of Iceberg Slim, his work carries the immediacy of corner stoop storytelling but is that rare creation--African American oral tradition in a literary form. LISA RICHARDSON- LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Raw and erudite, Tbone's writing is philosophical lyricism with a sensual edge. In the tradition of Iceberg Slim, his work carries the immediacy of corner stoop storytelling but is that rare creation--African American oral tradition in a literary form. LISA RICHARDSON- LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Look out now! Raw, hard, unglamourized country grammer describes this perspective of the world emerging from this new author.” DR. KIMBERLY ELLIS, DEPAUW UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

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Customer Reviews

  Short Stories & His writing in General , 09/25/2003
Reviewer: Marie Lopez
I started with your "Rock Star, Stud, Gigolo" book because I was automatically drawn to "A Matter of Attention" and I know that I will have more issues to address rather than with your short stories. In many instances I found you in your stories, you bring the chemist/scientist within them like when you go on to say " . . .she had too much material contamination within her and lied like sodium hydroxide . . ." it gave me the sense of your brightness and your dedication to your beliefs. In "The Cutlass Daddies and The Paranormal"stories I learned once more how the black population had to struggle and take the abuse as if it was the norm creating a very big sense of loss that was instilled in the individuals even before they were are born. The white supremacy with their displaced authoritative ideals devastated any minority for their own benefit. I like to think as of panicked ignorance. (Note that I used "are" . . . it totally aggravates me when I see issues of the KKK and their stupid beliefs). One can note in these two stories the total segregation where black and white did not mingle, it must have been very hard to grow up or maybe is conditional learning. While in The Paranormal they tried to break the rules by exchanging games and mementos but it all blew up in their faces when the influence of the white families prevailed. I did have a problem with the Irina character in the "Rock Star", who in my opinion was blunt, immature, her insecurity needed to be fed and reassured by misplaced adoration. She dueled in the past experiences not realizing that living the past in your present, it totally defeats a purpose of a future. Her self-esteem was so low that she sought reassurance within the equality of actions amongst sexes. She wanted to fuck around like men do without realizing that these men who indulge in such acts are way below her, and by acting like them she will go down to their level of self-esteem. I think that the "Rock Star" had a sense of humor and creativity when you mention that he would like to be a professional sun watcher with a minor in moon beaming, I was laughing at your ingenuity. One can sense his self-preservation when he stated: "I was not going to allow myself to drag around in self-made helplessness created from my own made-up pain". True you create your own problems and overcome them if you allow it to happen. Like in "Stud" where the aggressiveness leads to conflict which comes from insecurities and only the strong will survive. I’m a strong believer that one gives oneself the opportunities, for one seeks what your inner-self craves. My question would be: Why compare white and black? I believe it is not necessary to satisfy ones well being. First you have to satisfy yourself, then others you can make things happen for others.. I did relate directly with your thought of pride of your individuality and that nobody would make you change in order to accommodate and fit in society. It reminded me when we first moved to Orlando, Florida from Puerto Rico. We had a very difficult time finding employment, so I ended up being the bread winner with a mere salary of a teller. I went to the manager, who I thought was a open-minded person for we needed another persons point of view, someone native to help us understand what was happening. Well we spoke, exchanged ideas, and his prognosis was to change our last name. CHANGE OUR LAST NAME! What an insult, moreover coming from a African-American individual. Needless to say that was the end of that story. I also had a big problem with Slim in "Wicked Ego" since she was a materialistic bitch who always pre-judged. One can note her guiltiness when she becomes irritated with his questioning. She was an inconsiderate, hypocritical coward who will not face reality and break up maturely. He gave her too many choices because he was going through the motions of learning about love and survival. A soft hearted individual who learned the hard way that you can’t change people. They have to modify themselves, if they chose to. Once he saw that the grass can be greener on the other side and that there were options, then he was able to understand that a relationship has to go "half and half", like you said. Since he did not want to be hurt again by dedicating himself to one girl, he opted out for shielding his feelings and regressing into "Mac status". I must say that you did have some beautiful sex scenes, but the fact remains that the primary foundation comes from within. To be open and be honest are the primordial keys in a relationship for you culture, appreciate and then you pick-up the fruits of that relationship. Respect each other as you respect yourself, as you said. It takes a lot of soul search to break cycles I know that from experience. But I truly believe that education helps you learn who you are, where you come from and where you want to head to. You’ve got two choices: move forward, be valiant and face the world understanding that you are different or stay put and live your life with the "what if" syndrome. My personal mission is: To constantly make a difference where ever I stand. To live in a continuum of learning and self-improvement. Because I believe that prejudice equals to ignorance and knowledge is power. And one must not confuse the terms of being selective and being discriminatory. Many people think of them as the same. Whereas being selective is by choice and the latter is stereotyping and instilled.

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  five stars , 03/21/2004
Reviewer: tyesha
i came across this book via a friend. It is one of the greatest books I've ever read. The way the author engages the reader in conversation and scenario is phenomenal. It is a must read for those who are of the so-called X generation, and for anyone who wonders what life is really like for the black man in America. The book is written in first person, which allows the reader to see the beauty in the flaws of the writer. I look forward to reading more of his material. Big-ups! Mr. Stephens!

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  intriguing tale , 06/15/2005
Reviewer: Shelia A. Goss Readincolor book club)
Shelia A. Goss A Matter of Attention by Torrance Stephens is an intriguing tale about author, Gash Love. While hanging out with his friends, Gash meets the lovely Margarita. Little does he know this encounter will lead to a serious liaison between the two of them. An unlikely person reveals to Gash that Margarita is pregnant. He's confused on why she kept it a secret, however he insists on taking care of her and their baby. With all the ongoing drama around him, his writing is neglected. Struggling he puts forth great effort to care for Margarita and Naja, his daughter. When tragedy strikes, it drives a wedge between him and Margarita. Margarita doesn't appear to be happy with their life anymore. Gash must choose whether to stay or live a life without her. Torrance Stephens uses words in A Matter of Attention like an artist uses paint. Painting a vivid picture in the readers mind this is truly a must read.

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  A literary adventure , 09/12/2006
Reviewer: Diane Dorce
I was pleasantly surprised with reading Torrance Stephens, "A Matter of Attention." You see i am a avid reader of his blogs, and was just recently introduced to his books, AMOT being the first one to read. His writing is exquisite, his words evoke images and meanings that seduce, touch, make us feel and think. What's so seductive about this book is the fact that Gash is so prolific, intelligent, speaks in colorful phrases, has an extensive vocabulary, and yet he is our homeboy and can flip the script at any time. It's quite enticing and refreshing. I'm hoping to read more of Torrance Stephens in the very near future.

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