Ratz Are Nice by Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite
(PSP): A Novel

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The Way Things AreOr Are Ratz Nice?
a conversation with author Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite

Let's start with the title. Ratz are Nice. What the hell?
Rats survive and adapt; they run together in the lower parts where nobody wants to go, eat what nobody else wants to eat. Like the poor and lower classes, like Edison and the other characters in the book. Since that's the way things are, I say rats are nice.

Your first book, Wigger, was about co-opting someone else's culture, but the characters in Ratz seem more directed toward their own.
Ratz starts the way Wigger did. But this time Edison is deciding on stuff about his life with the "Dumbdumz." He realizes you can be a part of something without it stealing parts of yourself to be there. So it's about kids deciding to make this decision in life. They want to make that adult decision, right or wrong, and deal with the consequences.

Tell us about the world your characters inhabit.
We are in another failed "Reconstruction Period." There was the Civil War and the exploitation and lost hope of civility and equality. Then we had the overhyped civil rights movement followed by the big '80s Pomo divisive cultural revolution. The people in Ratz are the bastard children of all this. The have-nots are the only ones who've never gotten a voice, and everyone keeps saying they're speaking for them. What else could we get from the kids who grew up during this period, but them running a power move on things?

Some of them are pretty evil in a lot of ways.
I do think there is evil out there. They say that Victoria is the occult capital of North America, that it's the center of the pentagram and that there are places here which are right on the crossroads. You can call up evil or goodness in the middle of a crossroads. I think people have called up some wickedness. It's the underlying theme in the novel. The "Dumbdumz" reflect that. How distorted and twisted they have become. Edison knows that we don't have a "Buffy" to slay baddies nor do we have "Hellboy" or a John Constantine. Todd McFarlane is from around here. He created Spawn to fight that stuff but really it's up to an in


About Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published May 1, 2000 by Alyson Books. 152 pages
Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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(His excellent debut, Wiggers, appeared in Canada in 1994 and, unfortunately, received almost no critical notice.) It is difficult to read, with typographical symbols and codes, forward slashes, idiosyncratic spelling, acronyms and self-invented slang meant broadly to indicate the radical and tra...

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