Brown, Parry "EbonySatin"
BROWN, Parry "EbonySatin"
(Parry A. Brown)
PERSONAL: Married (divorced); children: two.
CAREER: Shankrys Publishing, founder and general manager; ANE Productions, partner; radio talk-show host; guest on radio and television shows. Florence Crittendon Center, board member; Ebony People Online, Los Angeles, CA, founder and chairperson.
(As Parry A. Brown) Sexy Doesn't Have a Dress Size: Lessons in Love (self-help), Shankrys Publishing, 2000.
The Shirt off His Back (novel), Strivers Row (New York, NY), 2001.
Sittin' in the Front Pew (novel), Strivers Row (New York, NY), 2002.
Fannin' the Flames (novel), One World (New York, NY), 2004.
Work represented in anthologies, including Proverbs for the People and Love Is Blind, Kensington (New York, NY), 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A film adaptation of The Shirt off His Back, a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Aware that achieving publication is very difficult for a new writer, Parry "EbonySatin" Brown founded her own publishing company, Shankrys, and self-published her first book, Sexy Doesn't Have a Dress Size: Lessons in Love. In 1997 Brown founded Los Angeles Ebony People Online, a nonprofit group that mentors economically challenged young people and provides them with computers. As an Internet surfer, Brown used the name "EbonySatin," and in her books she has incorporated her handle into her name. A mother of two children and grandmother of five, all girls, who writes that self-worth is not determined by dress size, Brown has also carried her message through speaking engagements.
Brown's first novel, The Shirt off His Back, was published by Random House's Strivers Row imprint, which showcases black fiction. It is the story of Terry Winston, a single black father of twin girls, who raises them alone after their mother opts for a career overseas. Terry is an extraordinary man who nurtures his relationships with his friends and family, the kind of man Brown feels is not being acknowledged. When Catherine, the mother of the girls returns, Terry is caught up in a bitter custody battle. In her epilogue she writes: "this work is dedicated to all the brothas who do the right thing, even when no one is watching." Kimberly White wrote in Black Issues Book Review that Brown's story "overflows with positive black role models," and Booklist critic Lillian Lewis concluded that Brown "has done a superb job in her debut novel of portraying a strong man doing exactly what he is supposed to do."
Sittin' in the Front Pew, is the story of the death of a father who may have been a very different man than was perceived by his four daughters. When Edward Zachary Naylor dies, he leaves his considerable estate to daughters Glynda, Renee, Collette, and Dawn, as well as to a mystery woman named Nina Blackford. The sisters quarrel about funeral arrangements and the part the father's girlfriend should play in them. Then Glynda, the main character, discovers Viagra in the bathroom, leading to speculation that the medication might have contributed to his demise. The tension leads to a brawl in the chapel and the discovery that Eddie has a fifth daughter. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that the story "is little more than an extended catfight, but Brown … gets credit for slipping in some laughs and tenderness along the way." Lynda Jones wrote in Black Issues Book Review that Sittin' in the Front Pew "is a colorful farewell to a loving man who strived to do right by everyone."
Jones was inspired to write Fannin' the Flames after attending a conference of the Association of Black Professional Firefighters. The story, which focuses on a crew composed entirely of minority firefighters, covers their professional and personal relationships and trials as well as a series of seemingly racially motivated crimes against the men and women of the company.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Brown, Parry Ann, Sexy Doesn't Have a Dress Size: Lessons in Love, Shankrys Publishing, 2000.
Black Issues Book Review, May, 2001, Veronica Stevenson-Moudamane, review of The Shirt off His Back, p. 19; March-April, 2002, Lynda Jones, review of Sittin' in the Front Pew, p. 34.
Booklist, January 1, 2001, Lillian Lewis, review of The Shirt off His Back, p. 910; March 15, 2002, Lillian Lewis, review of Sittin' in the Front Pew, p. 1209; June 1, 2004, Lillian Lewis, review of Fannin' the Flames, p. 1697.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2002, review of Sittin' in the Front Pew, p. 203.
Publishers Weekly, March 25, 2002, review of Sittin' in the Front Pew, p. 43.
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), Susan Larson, review of Fannin' the Flames, "Living," p. 1.
Literary World Web site, http://www.angelfire.com/ (March 5, 2004), Laurette Pierce, interview with Brown.
Maxine Thompson Web site, http://www.maxinethompson.com/ (March 4, 2005), Maxine Thompson, interview with Brown.
Parry Ann Brown Home Page, http://www.parryabrown.com (March 4, 2005).
Shankrys Web site, http://www.shankrys.com/ (March 4, 2005).