AND NOW, THE OTHER LEE

Everything's not hip-hop," says lawyer Tonya Lewis Lee, sounding much like Bill Cosby--and, not coincidentally, like her husband, Spike Lee. She and Crystal McCrary Anthony (the ex-wife of former NBA star Greg Anthony) have just published "Gotham Diaries," a novel set in New York's upscale, uptown world of millionaire businessmen, real-estate honchos, supermodels and, yes, inevitably, music moguls. "Be clear--there's nothing wrong with hip-hop. It has its place. But we wanted to show all the faces of people of color, and the different worlds in the culture."

"Gotham Diaries" breaks away from the template established for black female writers (and readers) a decade ago by Terry McMillan's "Waiting to Exhale" and similar tales of love, longing and two-timing. In the wake of McMillan's success, publishers have been churning out scores of spunky-sad my-man-done-me-wrong stories. This book, says Anthony, is "about women--and men--who are looking to themselves, and not somebody else, to make them happy. There was a moment when books aimed at black females focused on how a man or someone else could complete your life. We're not coming from there at all." Still, Lee and Anthony provide enough romance, self-doubt--and fashion tips--for women jonesing for "Sex and the City." They know readers just gotta have it.

Join the Discussion