TIME Books

Abbi Jacobson: Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? Is a Sliver of Hope

Book of the Month

Abbi Jacobson is an actor and comedian who stars in Broad City.

'It’s for anyone who’s yearning for something'

At this point in time, I’m finding myself frustrated, concerned, lost and confused at the world around me. It seems like we’re all searching for answers and solutions and trying to find voices that ease our pain and make us feel less alone, even as we take extra care to be open to different points of view.

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love felt like I dug up a secret time capsule from the 1960s and opened it to find a collection of stories that made me feel. I think that’s what we look for in all content really, stories and pieces of other people’s experiences that make us feel. Sad, sexy, hopeful and honest characters fill Kathleen Collin’s beautiful book. And even though these stories were written decades ago, the issues and frustrations of her characters’ lives mimic where we are right now. Strong, bold, black women fill the pages, reminiscing on an important time in American history, much of which still holds true today.

Every story shifts tone and point of view in a way that keeps you on your toes as a reader—wondering not only what’s next for each character, but what might be in store for you as well. Cinematic, visual, erotic, gentle and poetic are words that come to mind as I swirl around this collection.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for slivers of hope and beauty and detail. It’s for anyone who’s yearning for something, looking to get lost in other’s journeys to find themselves, immerse themselves in other’s regrets for a moment. I had never heard of Kathleen Collins before diving into her stories, and I later learned that this collection was discovered by her daughter many years after Kathleen’s death. Even so, her smart prose is specific and always changing, like she was constantly experimenting with who she was herself as a writer. I found her style immensely inspiring as a creator and as a woman.

This story originally appeared in Book of the Month, where December guest judge Abbi Jacobson selected Kathleen Collins’ collection Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?

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