ABOUT BARRY BECKHAM - ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE PROSE WRITER AT WORK TODAY
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BARRY BECKHAM is considered one of our most innovative prose writers who has brought a variety of experiences to his work. He is a distinguished novelist and founder of the Beckham Publications Group. He has been a public relations writer for the Chase Manhattan Bank and AT&T, and a tenured English professor at Brown and Hampton Universities.

When Beckham published his first novel, My Main Mother (Walker) in 1969, he had just graduated from Brown University and was writing for the public relations office of Chase Manhattan. President David Rockefeller dubbed him Chase's "first bona fide novelist," and the New York Times Book Review hailed the work as a forerunner of "remarkable things to come."

His second novel, Runner Mack (Morrow, 1972) was selected by the New York Times as one of the year's most noteworthy books. "Beckham is a masterful writer, and his novel is an emblem of contemporary black frustration," wrote the Library Journal reviewer. "This story of an aspiring black baseball player is skillfully written and richly imaginative," declared The New York Times Book Review.

He is also the author of Double Dunk (Holloway House, 1981), the innovative autobiography of Manhattan schoolyard basketball legend Earl (the Goat) Manigault. The HBO biopic, Rebound starring Eric Lasalle and James Earl Jones is based on the Goat's life. Employing novelistic touches of scene setting and dialogue, Beckham sustains the second person point of view throughout the work--about which the Newark Star Ledger said: "Every high school and perhaps junior high school student should read."

Beckham's first novel in two decades, Will You Be Mine? takes on an old theme with a new approach. It's the distinguished novelist's stab at presenting a different kind of love story. "I wanted a black male narrator who is tender and passionate," says Beckham. "At the same time," he adds, "my main character encounters the usual absurdities that come with being a black male in twentieth century America."

His narrator is a 50-year-old African-American whose third wife, Chinita-twenty years younger--has just died after a painful bout with "the disease that keeps growing." Caught in Washington, DC traffic and listening to talk radio as he drives toward his beach house, the narrator has the perfect audience--a sympathetic Teddy bear.

Beckham taught at Brown University for 17 years and directed the graduate writing program before going to Hampton University in 1987. With a Xerox Foundation grant, Beckham directed the country's first summer high school writer's workshop for black students at Hampton. While at Brown, he edited the first of five editions of the Black Student's Guide to Colleges (Dutton, 1982)--also the first of its kind. His other guides include the Black Student's Guide to Scholarships and the College Selection Workbook.

A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Beckham is on the board of the Author's League Fund and the George Polk Awards, and has served on the boards of PEN American Center and the Author's Guild. He was one of the judges of the 2005 Hurston Wright Foundation Award for the best novel by an African American. He has published prose in Esquire, Black Enterprise, Crisis, the New York Times, Educational Record, the Washington Post, American Visions, and elsewhere.

Beckham is married to the former Monica Scott, an attorney in Washington, DC.

BOOKS BY BARRY BECKHAM

Will You Be Mine?
Barry Beckham
List Price: $26.95 $20.95 *internet discount*, 312 pp., hardcover

Barry Beckham's first novel in 20 years takes on an old theme with a new approach. Will You Be Mine? is the distinguished novelist's stab at presenting a different kind of love story. "I wanted a black male narrator who is tender and passionate," says Beckham. "At the same time," he adds, "my main character encounters the usual absurdities that come with being a black male in twentieth century America."
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My Main Mother
First published 1969, Walker & Co.
Barry Beckham
List Price: $10.95 $8.95 *internet discount*, 192 pp., paperback

My Main Mother is a novel about growing up. Without a father. With a mother who is beautiful, promiscuous, avidly ambitious. In a small town in Maine. In the human jungle of New York. Growing up defiant and scared, happy and torn up. Growing up black. And growing up human. It is, quite simply, one of the most remarkable novels in years.
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Double Dunk
(First published 1981, Hollloway House)
Barry Beckham
List Price: $10.95 $8.95 *internet discount*, 164 pp., paperback

Earl "The Goat" Manigault had what it takes to become a superstar: incredible leaping ability, great timing, and unstoppable moves. He set a New York City junior high school record by scoring 52 points in one game. In high school and on the playgrounds of Harlem, he astonished opponents with his acrobatic shots, including the patented double dunk. Although seventy-two colleges offered him scholarships, lack of discipline and bad breaks sent Manigault stumbling into a world of heroin addiction and petty crimes for three years.
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Runner Mack
(First published 1972, William Morrow & Co.)
Barry Beckham
List Price: $10.95 $8.95 *internet discount*, 224 pp., paperback

Runner Mack is the compelling story of young Henry Adams' road to self-discovery through his encounter and friendship with Runner Mack, a self-styled black militant. Rich with metaphor and symbolism, the novel portrays the "grand old game" of baseball as the symbol of America--for whites, a sanctuary where the American dream is a reality, for blacks, a nightmarish world filled with pain, chaos, and frustration.
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Beckham's Guide to Scholarships for Black and Minority Students
Barry Beckham
List Price: $17.95 $15.95 *internet discount*, 290 pp., paperback

Does a college education seem like an impossible, expensive dream? It doesn't have to. This indispensable guide to scholarships for black and minority students will help turn your dream of going to college into reality. Updated and enlarged, this is the top reference tool listing the most important as well as little-known sources of private financial aid for black and minority students.
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The College Selection Workbook
Barry Beckham
List Price: $10.95 $8.95 *internet discount*, 64 pp., paperback

Choosing a college—the most significant decision in every student's educational life—all too often feels like a hit-or-miss affair. But veteran educator Barry Beckham has systematized and streamlined the process with a series of self-paced exercises designed to match student and institution.
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FREE! Better English 101 Writing Newsletter!
NEWS! Read Barry Beckham's "Preparing a Winning Book Proposal Using the Seven Secret Ingredients".
Shorter Published Prose

Dr. Ruth J. Simmons: Precedent-Setting President (Crisis, March/April 2001)

Confessions of an Autograph Hound (Brown Alumni Monthly, February 1982)

How We Decided, Go With Richard (Carleton Miscellany, Winter 1980)

From Campus to Corporation: The Challenge to Adjust (Black Enterprise, February 1980)

Why It Is Right to Write (Brown Alumni Monthly, May-June 1978)

Ladies and Gentlemen, No Salt-Water Taffy Today (Brown Alumni Monthly, March 1970)

Listen to the Black Graduate (Esquire, September 1969)

Edward Albee: A Profile (Brown Daily Herald 1966)

John Cheever: A Profile (Brown Daily Herald 1966)

W.S. Merwin: An Introduction


Beckham Publications Group, Inc - P.O. Box 4066  -Silver Spring - MD 20914 - Tel: 301-384-7995 - Fax: 1-866-659-3306

  BARRY BECKHAM - THE MOST INNOVATIVE PROSE WRITER AT WORK TODAY