Special Feature
An interview with Basic Black co-author Karen Grigsby Bates
by Kate Heyhoe

Part 3: About the Book
& the Authors


KH: How has the book been received so far?

KGB: We're happy to be able to say we're in our fourth printing.

Quote: There's not black manners, brown manners and white manners. There's only good manners and bad manners.

KH: with so many different cultures having such a strong presence in America, do you envision similar editions targeted at say the Latino or Asian communities? Or do you think there is a need for them?

KGB: We suspect in the future there may well be ethnically-specific editions aimed at other markets, such as Latinos and Asian-Americans. and as with Basic, if people are more comfortable with a well-written book that speaks to their cultural needs and interests, we think such books will do well.

KH: When you are not writing etiquette books, what do you and co-author Karen Elyse Hudson do with your time?

KGB: When I'm not writing (or promoting) Basic, I'm grinding out Op Eds for the Los Angeles Times and commentaries for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." I'm also whacking away at my first fiction book, a mystery novel called Plain Brown Wrapper. When I'm not doing the above-mentioned, I'm feeding my seemingly insatiable husband, Bruce, our almost six year-old, Jordan, and an assorted squadron of starving artists, all of whom are happy to be my culinary guinea pigs. and when she's not writing and promoting Basic, Karen Elyse consults for a black financial institution, lectures on the history of African Americans in California (especially the Civil Rights movement) and is curator of the Paul R. Williams Collection, which contain the papers, blueprints and renderings of her maternal grandfather, pioneer architect Paul R. Williams. She's working on a book on the early black women's social movement in Los Angeles (a project she interrupted to write Basic). In her spare time, she takes children's portraits and entertains—lots!


Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times
by Karen Grigsby Bates &
Karen Elyse Hudson
Doubleday, 1997, $24.95 US/$32.95 CAN
ISBN 0-385-48434-8

Click to buy The New Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times—Revised Edition


Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times


This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

Modified October 2005