82 Year Old Writer to Publish "BLIP," a NYC Hate Crime Novel Idrian Resnick’s Book Features Race, Hate Crimes, Cops, and Even Love
"BLIP" is a New York hate crime story. White teens beat a young black law student into a coma then try to find him to finish him off. His friend, a retired NYPD Jewish detective, hunts the bad guys. New York blows up in a paroxysm of racial hate and vengeance. The cop falls in love with the kid’s sister. Hopeless! Unless . . .
Based on the Howard Beach 1986 hate crime killing of a black man - "There's some n*gg*rs in the pizza parlor, and we should go back and kill them. " [Charles Hynes, Incident at Howard Beach, p. 20.] - in "BLIP" Gambino-connected teens beat an African American into a coma and for the first time in America blacks bring their rage and revenge to white neighborhoods. Set in the atmosphere of extreme racial tensions in 1998 New York City, "BLIP" is a story about two men and a woman ensnared in the chaos. When Columbia law student Jason Baldwin fights to regain consciousness, his assailants try to finish him off. His closest friend, Jewish retired NYPD Major Crimes detective Michael Stark, risks everything to find and neutralize the assailants - in a haystack of eight million straws.
When African American leaders head a march in Howard Beach, a white mob brutally assaults the protesters while the police, under orders from the mayor, stand by. "As they crossed the bridge over the Belt Parkway from Ozone Park to Howard Beach, they saw a sight reminiscent of Selma, Alabama and Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1950s." Just such a demonstration actually took place in Howard Beach in 1986 but residents kept a lid on their hatred. In "BLIP" the entire city erupts in racial conflagration. "The sergeant put down the phone, raised his head, tears streaming down his fat, now ruddy cheeks, surveyed the expectant faces and husked, 'Saks Fifth Avenue's been fire bombed. At least fifty people injured.'” [BLIP, p. 228.] "BLIP" is the first novel to treat race in this way.
Caught in the brutal crossfires of Jason’s would-be killers, the racial explosions engulfing the city, his own prejudice and love-hate loyalty to cop brotherhood, Michael unexpectedly falls in love with Jason’s sister Amber. Feelings about race, gender and cops stop romance cold. Amber mocked him: “Show me the light. A Jewish, white cop gonna tell a lil’ n..ga girl like it is.” [BLIP, p. 297.] Almost. “Oh, Michael. Let’s just be in love and forget everything else.” [BLIP, p. 434.]
“When I began writing this book in 1998, New York was awash with police brutality against blacks and (as the Amnesty International report extensively quoted in BLIP points out) it had been going on for years,” says author Idrian Resnick. “I wanted to weigh in with a fiction writer’s voice. I spent two years on BLIP before other writing events took me away. By 2014 conditions for African Americans had worsened throughout the country. Police killings had become more frequent and equally egregious as Abner Louima’s was in 1997. I knew I needed to revisit this story.”
Resnick, who is white, spoke to the delicate nature of writing such a book saying, “I wrestled from the start (and researched and talked) over whether in today’s world it is useful for a white man to write a race book; one like this.” In the end, Resnick concluded that as a progressive white man, he could use his pen to give a perspective that from other quarters might be received differently.
“If an African American wrote it, whites would label it a 'threat.' If Lindsey Graham wrote it, it would come across as a war cry. From me, BLIP is analogous to the recent UN and US reports on climate change. The entire world better get its act together now or die.”
"BLIP" goes on sale in all major book and eBook outlets on December 1, 2018.
About the author
Idrian Resnick has spent his career as a writer, innovator, advocate and educator. With a PhD in economics and African Studies from Boston University, Resnick taught there and at Howard, Princeton, Colombia and Cornell universities and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where he also served as an adviser to the government. Resnick was the Executive Director of the Association on American Indian Affairs, and headed Action for Corporate Accountability, which led the boycott against Nestle for its unethical promotion of infant formula.
His first story was published when he was twelve, and though he wrote non-fiction throughout his career, in 1990 he turned to writing fiction full time. Resnick has posted over forty stories on his free website: www.IdrianN.com. One, “Swimming for Seniors” won a first prize. He has eight published books, most recently: Humpty-Dumpty Sister (biography), Fireman Mike (MG fiction), The Bell (adult fiction) and The Invisible Hand (financial thriller).
Idrian N. Resnick
16 Old Pawson Rd.
Branford, CT 06405