(K'wan Foye, K'wan)
Writer. Motivational speaker, television producer, and chief executive officer of Black Dawn, Inc. (small press).
NOVELS; UNDER PSEUDONYM K'WAN
Gangsta, Triple Crown Publications (Columbus, OH), 2002.
Road Dawgs, Triple Crown Publications (Columbus, OH), 2003.
Street Dreams, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2004.
Hoodlum, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2005. Hood Rat, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2006. Eve, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2006
Also author, under pseudonym K'wan, of unpublished novels, In My Father's Name, Rydaz, and Bloodlines.
Kwan Foye, who publishes under the name K'wan, made his mark on urban literature with the publication of his first book, Gangsta. The realistic, gritty novel of gang life reached the bestseller list in Essence magazine and even attracted critical attention overseas. K'wan followed up with Road Dawgs, which was similar in theme. The strength of his first two books drew the attention of St. Martin's Press, who offered K'wan a contract for several more works. Street Dreams, Hoodlum, Hood Rat, and Eve all served to further the author's reputation as an authentic voice of the inner city.
Street Dreams relates the troubled love story of Rio and Trinity, who have hopes of escaping the housing projects in Harlem for a better life. Abby West, reviewing the book for Entertainment Weekly, stated that the author did a good job of making his characters seem "alive," which made the story's ending all the more "heartbreaking." Hoodlum, K'wan's next novel, focuses on two brothers in Harlem, whose family is destroyed by the crime and greed that permeate that neighborhood. Hoodlum was described as "another aggressive, bloody portrait of unrepentant urban outlaws" by a Publishers Weekly writer.
Eve, published in 2006, takes place in K'wan's typical urban setting. The title character is a young woman of black, Italian, and Irish heritage who is released from prison after serving an eighteen-month sentence for a crime she did not commit. Eve protected her friends, who were truly guilty, even though it meant she had to be jailed. Back on the street, Eve finds that some of her friends may not have been worthy of her sacrifice. The story is one of "bright, brief lives that lead nowhere," stated a Kirkus Reviews writer. A Publishers Weekly reviewer recommended Eve as a "juicy, hard-hitting hip-hop romp."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Black Issues Book Review, March-April, 2004, "African American Author Gets Deal for Three More Books from St. Martin's Press," p. 8.
Booklist, March 1, 2006, Lillian Lewis, review of Eve, p. 65.
Entertainment Weekly, October 1, 2004, review of Street Dreams, p. 77.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2006, review of Eve, p. 10.
Library Journal, February 1, 2006, Lisa Jones, review of Eve, p. 71.
Publishers Weekly, June 20, 2005, review of Hoodlum, p. 58; January 16, 2006, review of Eve, p. 39.
Bella Online,http://www.bellaonline.com/ (November 8, 2006), review of Eve.