Dakota Grand: A Novel
by Kenji Jasper
Publication Date: Sep 24, 2002
List Price: $12.95
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Imprint: Harlem Moon
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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From the author of the acclaimed debut novel Dark, a searing and authentic new novel about the mano a mano feud between a famous rap artist and an intrepid, won’t-back-down hip-hop journalist.
Dakota Grand is a young music journalist who’s left his Southern roots behind and moved to the Big Apple to cover the rough-and-tumble world of rap. He’s part of the star-making machinery, spinning the web of interviews, reviews, and “inside stories” that move the CD’s off the racks. He’s good at this, but what it’s gotten him so far is an apartment in deepest Brooklyn, a check-to-check freelancer’s existence, and a hit-and-run love life. Then the break of his career comes: the opportunity to interview one of his rap heroes, Mirage, one half of the legendary group Arbor Day, for a cover story for The Magazine. Puffing on a spliff, Mirage spills plenty of beans to Dakota Grand, but he’s less than pleased by the resulting article. In fact, he has his boys assault Dakota in a midtown elevator and send him to the hospital. What ensues is an increasingly tense and violent duel between Mirage and Dakota Grand, with the young writer determined to fight back for his own honor and that of his fellow journalists.
As gripping as the best “Behind the Music” episode, Dakota Grand is a vivid and provocative study of a young writer and the multiplatinum, chart-topping culture that has begun to consume him—a significant step forward for a rising young star in the African-American literary world.
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