Donald Goines

Amazing how books and authors come back into your life. For me, I remember the first Donald Goines book I ever read.

Dopefiend. Read it in when I was living in early 90s San Francisco. Remember living with a bunch of folks and working like crazy in Cafe’s or wherever else I could find work (Even worked in the backroom of Lohman’s at one point taking dresses off the conveyer belt that went from the women’s dressing rooms to the storeroom where I worked with a few other kids from different parts of the city.

Carried Dopefiend around in my back pocket for a good month of one of those summers. Remember the realness with which he wrote – how unafraid he was in plowing into his story. Read Street Players after that. Then, as life does, I moved on, but as a good book goes, it just stayed with me.

Last week, leaving the house, about to go to work, and finished with my second book, I had the ability to read something for pleasure instead of research.

Saw on my shelf an old copy of a biography called  Donald Goines Writes No More. I always think books have a way of presenting themselves to you in life when you’re open to it. A book actually finds you. That relationship between reader and author is very intimate in that respect. While reading what he went through in his life, I find myself lending those thoughts to characters in my next book. I don’t really keep anything for myself – everything goes to my characters. Guess that doesn’t leave much for my life in the way of knowing things, but that’s fine.

At the end, everything I know will end up in my characters anyhow.

3 thoughts on “Donald Goines

  1. I would like to say that I feel the same way that you do about Donald Goines. The first book that I had read that he had wrote was whoreson. It was so good that I had read it in under three hours. Every since then if I see any Donald Goines books, I will buy them because not only are they good, but they are very hard to find.

  2. I had finally found someone who shares the same love that I do for one of the greatest african americans writers of all time

  3. Hi Monique – Indeed, I’m a huge fan. He’s so honest and has a way of transcribing his eye directly onto the page – something I cannot help but just stand in amazement and watch. Glad you feel the same way too!

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