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29

TUESDAY

A few years ago, it was popular among black literati to debate whether Terry McMillan is a writer of literary or commercial fiction. Having finished Blue Collar Blues by her sister, Rosalyn McMillan, I’ve come to two conclusions: Terry McMillan is indeed a literary writer (if of debatable quality), and most literary critics have never read real commercial fiction. Such as Blue Collar Blues. With graphic sex scenes and plenty of drama, it’s Melrose Place set in Detroit, between the bitter smoke of factories and affluent views of Lake Michigan. Interestingly enough, I did learn quite a bit about the auto industry and the struggles of union workers, but I don’t think that was the point. McMillan reads from and signs copies of her book at 6 p.m. at Vertigo Books, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 429-9272. (Holly Bass)