DJGBC March 2013 Book Of The Month: Airtight Willie & Me By Iceberg Slim

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Iceberg Slim a/k/a Robert Lee Maupin, in Chicago on August 4, 1918, he spent his childhood in Milwaukee and Rockford, Illinois until he returned to Chicago. When his mother was abandoned by his father she established beauty shop and worked as a domestic to support both of them in Milwaukee. [1] In his autobiography Robert expressed gratitude that his mother didn’t abandon him as well. She earned enough money working in her salon to give her son the privileges of a middle-class life like a college education, which at that time was not an option for the average person. He attended Tuskegee University, but dropped out when he found he could make money being a pimp. His mother had wanted him to be a lawyer, but Robert, seeing the pimps bringing women into his mothers beauty salon was far more attracted to the model of money and control over women that the human traffickers provided.

In 1969, his first autobiographical novel was Pimp: The Story of My Life, published by Holloway House.

Reviews of Pimp were mixed; it was quickly categorized as being typical of the black “revolutionary” literature then being created. However, Beck’s vision was considerably bleaker than most other black writers of the time. His work tended to be based on his personal experiences in the criminal underworld, and revealed a world of seemingly bottomless brutality and viciousness. His was the first insider look into the world of black pimps, to be followed by a half-dozen pimp memoirs by other writers. Of his literary contribution, a Washington Post critic claimed, “Iceberg Slim may have done for the pimp what Jean Genet did for the homosexual and thief: articulate the thoughts and feelings of someone who’s been there.”[2]

Pimp sold very well, mainly among black audiences. By 1973, it had been reprinted 19 times and had sold nearly 2 million copies.[3] Pimp was eventually translated into German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish and Greek. Nevertheless, the book’s audience remained predominantly black.

Following Pimp, Beck wrote several more novels: Trick Baby, Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim (Los Angeles: Holloway House, 1971), Mama Black Widow, Long White Con, Airtight Willie & Me, and Death Wish: A Story of the Mafia. He sold over six million books prior to his death in 1992,[4] making him one of the best-selling African-American writers (after Alex Haley). All his books were published exclusively as paperbacks. Iceberg Slim also released an album of poetry called Reflections in the early 1970s.

Iceberg Slim’s Catalog Of Books Are Currently Owned By Cash Money Content Publishing.

*Book Of The Month For March 2013    Airtight Willie & Me By Iceberg Slim  Released March 12, 2013
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Book Description:
In this collection of six gritty tales from the underground, Iceberg Slim creates a tribute …to the streets and those forced to try to survive them. From slick con men, classic tales of revenge, to a heist gone awry, Robert Beck, the man many know as Iceberg Slim, brings us on a ride through the terrifying urban streets. With the same unforgettable and distinctive prose, Airtight Willie & Me is further evidence that Iceberg Slim is the only author capable of capturing the language of the streets. Compelling always, funny sometimes, and typically bleak at their ends, Slim gives us six slices of city life that will leave you thirsting for more.
To Purchase This & Other Books By Iceberg Slim Click On The Link Below:
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