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Adam Mansbach is NOT ABM

Kola Boof

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Well, now that I'm on the same label as Adam Mansbach, I've been able to

meet him in person & chat with him.

He really is White. So I digress on that argument (I had insisted he was a

black writer).

He's also REALLY cute and kind.

But he is NOT...as so many claimed....my King "ABM" (the popular board

member on AALBC that I performed a kind of Duo dance for so many years).

The web allows people to be anonymous and many of the most famous writers,

editors & agents post here at AALBC.COM.

There was the rumor that ABM was really Adam Mansbach pretending to

be a Black guy and sitting in on our issues year after year---mostly talking

with Kola Boof.

I asked Adam directly (in person where I could see his eyes) and he said that he

is NOT ABM nor ever been to this board. I believe him.

In a way, though it makes me sad...because when I went to Chicago during tour,

I also didn't come across any men who could be ABM.

I miss ABM and hope that he's alright. I genuinely loved him as my "Web Buddy"

a lot.

*Make sure to check out Adam Mansbach's latest book "Go the Fuck to Sleep"

which has now sold over a million copies!!! It's a marvelous fanciful peace.

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Hummmm. Interesting. I never thought ABM was Adam Mansback who I never heard of until recently. I always believed ABM was A Black Man, a regular guy from Chicago who liked his privacy. He may have been romantic with you, Kola, but the exchanges between him and me were usually adversarial. I'm also sorry he no longer posts and I've always wondered if this was because he got tired of my sniping. Whatever.

Sorry I missed your Chicago tour stop but the date crept upon me and then everybody I depend on to take me places, since I gave up driving, had other plans, so I didn't have a way to get to the venue where your signing was being held, - a place that is quite a way from where I live. I trust all went well.

Don't ask me how the A Chapter A Month project if faring because I have no idea. I suspect this experimental installment plan didn't generate a lot of interest. Glad I'm not young and aspiring. ^_^

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Yeah, a few years ago someone told me that they though (at least strongly enough to share with me) that ABM was Adam. While Kola did not say so I was at least one person to continue the speculation through the rumor mill. I swore her to secrecy as I could not validate the truth -- honestly I never did try. I don't try to divine the real life identities of people who post here under an alias.

Yeah I too miss ABM's posts and exchanges with the other folks here including myself.

Oh yeah, thanks for the claification Kola -- that is if Adam is to be believed ;)

Cynqie, I have not looked into the results of A Chapter A Month myself. I'll report back to you after the end of the year. But keep in mind all of this take time. Even the A Chapter A Month site itself needs to become better known.

Kola can tell you while she might be known now, but that did not happen overnight and not with out a lot of work.

Click to buy Go to F**K Asleep


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I continue to find this Adam Mansbach connection interesting. ABM always impressed me as being a genuine Chicago by-product, while frequently mentioning his wife and 2 daughters, also being very eager to represent "do-right" black men. He also mentioned that he was related to a well-known black music producer whose name I can't remember.I had problems with his approach to the obvious when offerig his comments;but I never got the feeling that he was anything other than what he revealed himself to be. Just goes to show you how differently people see things, Oh, well. :huh:

Maybe ABM will come forward and have his say. :ph34r:

Are we hard up for a topic to discuss, - or what? :lol:

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You're right. Publishing (for blacks) is just dead in the water right now.

I am LUCKY (extremely lucky) that I got in the door at Akashic at the right moment---because now----EVERYONE

is dying to be there & jockeying for a place to land (*major houses are dropping black authors like flies).

Joyce Carol Oates has just come to tiny indie label Akashic.

Big hitters Nelson George, Edwidge Danticat & Randall Robinson are now on Akashic.

Bernice McFadden's books sell twice as much as mine but still had to leave her giant

major house.

The recession is truly affecting sales of black books.

My book has gotten huge press & A-1 attention from Johnny Temple....but it still is not a strong seller (IMO).

Now Johnny & Ibrahim insisted to me that "it's a blockbuster Kola!"....but to me, if you don't sell 20,000 copies

of 1 title, you still haven't broken through.

And I have not broken through.

I have 20 more cities on my tour ending in Alaska--that's how determined I am

to secure my position at Akashic & Johnny luckily puts a lot into me PR wise. I

think I would commit suicide if Akashic dropped me. They're irreplaceable.

I did have a "Critical Hit" because of Madison Smart Bell & Boston Globe calling it a masterpiece. And of course

my book was the last book blurbed by Derrick Bell (who had spent years trying to agent the book).

So in that regard, it's a hit. But NOT sales.

Barnes & Noble has a new "experiment" where they're putting Black novels in General Fiction and I am one

of the first books stocked this way.

That might be hurting my sales as well. Blacks go to B&N and then report back that they can't find me.

It's really and truly TOUGH in the business right now.

If Johnny Temple hadn't stepped in & taken over my career, I would be nowhere.

It's hell out here for writers, especially "gifted" ones. People no longer have attention spans.

Amazingly with the break out of Adam Mansbach, Akashic has become the hottest label in publishing

right now. It was total LUCK (my talent was looked at)... that I got signed. Johnny was the one who

received & read my manuscript himself. I sent it myself, not an agent, not Derrick. Johnny just fell

in love with the book, had my background checked out & then took me to lunch & signed me.

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...dropping authors and cutting advances.

Joyce Carol Oates, Edwidge Danticat, OK Johnny T. is officially 'da man!

Now I know this gonna sound racist as all get out, and perhaps it is, but I can't help but wonder if a Brother could have secured the Black talent Johnny has and have been as successful.

I know Kola will check me if she feels I'm off base here. It is also worth noting that I think Johnny is a terrific person. I like everything I've seen or heard about him. My point has nothing to do with Johnny personally but with the nature of our culture and Black people in general.

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You know Troy,

I'm going to confide something. And this is really true.

To be a "breakout" success in life....you have to take risks & stand for something.

That is what separates the Icons from the merely talented/hard working.

The Black Editors in New York are not very savvy or visionary---or they would have

signed me years ago. On pure writing skill & drive alone (ignoring all public bullshit), they would

have done what Johnny did and said "this person, eccentric & controversial or not, is a gifted writer

and has a point of view."

Instead, they actually held it against me that I was "African" (she's not one of us, even if we did raise

her & give her that mouth)....they operated on PETTY he said/she said to the point where I became haughty

and belligerent, mainly because I was so often being lied on and attacked by their inner circles. None of them,

in my opinion, have the courage or integrity to truly be great. They want to be safe; they want to protect their jobs

and only publish what is familiar or already successful.

Johnny Temple is nothing like them, Troy. He's cunning, open and deep.

There is NO REASON on earth that I should have spent 10 years without a black editor in NYC

at least having lunch with me to discuss **WRITING**. (a) I had a following in both Europe and

America...(B') I was getting A-list Media bookings that their authors on major houses couldn't get

© It was known that people "cried" reading my books & were passionate about my books. All

the signs, Troy.

But Stephen Elliott (a White Man) did approach me to write a short story for "Politically Inspired"

and that led to editors at The New Yorker & Paris Review requesting that I write stories for them.

Neither of those magazines chose to publish the stories I wrote ("Sexy Part" was one). But they

did begin predicting in their circles that I would be a major author.

The award I won in Sweden for "I Am My Own Daughter" continued demonstrating that I had

genuine talent and originality. Being published in "Harper's Magazine" continued my popularity

with a White literary clique.

With all that.....not a single BLACK editor in NY would read my work.

Right now....my books are banned from Eso Won Bookstore in Los Angeles. A black male owned

bookstore. National Book Award nominee Wanda Coleman is also banned from the store (she

criticized Maya Angelou in a bad review she wrote of Maya's work).

The pettiness among Black business & arts people is stupifying Troy. They want to work with

"friends" and banish anyone who is "weird" & not status quo from existence. That's not smart


Your "upstarts" (provided they have talent to back up their quirkiness) are usually the big fish in

any form of entertainment, media.

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Kola, your reputation as a writer is not disputed. Your off the top of your head contributions to these discussion boards attest to your writing ability and passion.

You know, of course, you are can be more than a handful. But that is no reason for you not to have gotten a deal from a "big" house. Trust me they publish other authors who are a "handful"; you have not cornered the market on that -- not by a long shot.

Also I personally know at least one high level NY editor who has read your work and said you can write.

Johnny T. with ownership of his publishing company can do what he wants. Black folks in big publishing houses (as much as I love them) ain't got it like that. The incentives are completely different as you described.

Don't even get me started about Eso Won. I have a story that would probably astonish you.

I will always support Wanda Coleman.

Also don't forget to contribute some websites to Huria Search -- especially non-American websites -- thanks

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This will come as a shock to you....haha....but Johnny Temple says I'm one of the EASIEST

authors he's ever worked with.

He thought I would be a diva and found me to be (his words) "a joy to work with."

My people at Akashic (Johnny, Ibrahim & Zach) are like good friends. We haven't had a single

argument. They spoil me and I work really hard both writing & promoting.

I am exceptionally sweet Troy. I only become difficult when I feel that I'm being attacked or dissed.

When it comes to "WORK", I'm really focused and competent and cheerful.

You never got to work with me that's all.


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I'm not surprised at all Kola. I've seen you and Johnny work together. I've seen you praise Johnny in his absence and I've seen Johnny praise you in your absence. I did not mean to suggest that the folks at Akashic had any difficulty with you -- only that you certainly had the reputation prior to being signed.

Here is to continued success.

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  • 3 years later...

I stumbled across this conversation looking for Adam Mansbach content on AALBC.com.  Getting side tracked O found a cool video of Stacey Ann Chin and Adman reading different the english and the jamaican version of he popular book: http://aalbc.it/goderass

Adam seems to be irreverent and funny enough to be the old ABM.

Over the years I've come to appreciate Akashic as they have kept a lot of talented writers in print.


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