A Suite Invitation
by J.E. Morgan

"Equating sex with love and love with sex can screw you up."

This is a collection of nineteen short stories, almost vignettes, most being eight pages long or less. In them, the reader is treated to a wide sampling of what can be described as African-American erotica. Most told from the first person point of view, these stories explore the allure and sexuality of African American women from the male point of view. Whether it is a church-attending woman whose passion for worship is matched by an equally passionate desire for sex, as in “A Divine Intervention,” “Angelina Harding:” or “The Procession”—or a female Doctor of Neurology with an unorthodox method of curing impotency (unbridled sex with her patients)—the center of each story is a strong and uninhibited woman. The narrator is often a young man recalling his first sexual experience, the power of sexuality, and the strength of the women being celebrated. Though every story ends with some form of coupling with a predictable “climax,” the authors deft use of metaphor and slang prevents the language from slipping into pornography.

In fact, the blatant sexuality of the stories is imbued with a distancing artifice of linguistic embellishment that verges on the poetic. In “Let Me Tell You about Rita-Mae Johnson,” he carries this to the limit with almost the entire eight pages filled with rhyme embedded in prose. Passages like “…she said with no measure; just enjoying that treasure, giving her pleasure. Let it rip humble desire, leaving Minister Lee in liquid fire” almost elevate form over content. The plots are simple: An inner city hoodlum finds redemption in a federally funded conservation camp through wild sex with “Ethel,” the campsite’s taskmaster, or a young tenant of an apartment building fantasizes about a sexy woman living there, but has to wait until he grows up to have sex with her. The characters consist a wide array of women, large, slender, and well-endowed. Garters and bra straps play a big part. The theme is how much power and fascination these women hold over the narrator.

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